How to Keep Animals From Going Under a Deck

It would be hard to enjoy your backyard deck if a skunk or other wild animal decided to set up housekeeping underneath.
While latticework can serve as a ground-level barrier to wildlife it is not always enough. You can attach wire fencing to your deck posts to keep wild animals from going under your deck, or you can make the area so inhospitable they don’t move in. Be sure to remove any animals living under the deck before closing off the space.

Step 1

Scrape the soil under the deck to remove any vegetation with a hoe. Some animals find weeds attractive for food and shelter. Cover the ground under the deck with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing under the deck.

Step 2

Cover the landscape fabric completely with large rocks. The rocks prevent animals from finding a cozy place to make their homes.

Step 3

Dig a 1-foot wide by 1-foot deep trench around the deck with a shovel.

Step 4

Bend the bottom 12 inches of a roll of 1-by-2 inch welded wire fencing to form an “L” shape. Set the bottom, horizontal portion of the “L” in the bottom of the trench with the vertical portion against the deck posts.

Step 5

Attach the fencing to the deck posts with fencing staples.

Step 6

Back-fill the trench with the soil you dug out earlier. Pack it down firmly in place.

Things You Will Need

  • Hoe
  • Landscape fabric
  • Large rocks
  • Shovel
  • 1-by-2 inch welded wire fencing
  • Staple gun
  • Fencing staples
  • Hammer

Tips

  • Welded wire fencing comes in different widths. Pick the width that covers the open area under your deck. If necessary, add a second row of fencing above the first row that has the L-shaped foot.
  • Soak wadded pieces of rag with household ammonia and place them under the deck to hasten the departure of unwanted animals. Animals also don’t like the smell of mothballs.

Warning

  • Never try to catch a wild animal, even with gloves on. Use humane traps and release the animals back into the wild far away from your deck.

About the Author

Denise Brown is an education professional who wanted to try something different. Two years and more than 500 articles later, she's enjoying her freelance writing experience for online resources such as Work.com and other online information sites. Brown holds a master's degree in history education from Truman State University.