A nice decked area in the garden is an ideal space to position your garden furniture so that you can host garden parties and have the odd BBQ. There is, however, a downside to garden decking: the space underneath makes the ideal place for rodents to make their nests.
This can especially be a problem with decking installations where the surface is raised above ground level. However, there are various steps that you can take to rodent proof decking and keep your garden a pest free zone.
One of the best ways of preventing rodents from getting under your decking is of course to block off all the access routes. Your first option here is to use decking fascia to cover up the space between the deck board and the ground. It is of course important to get the fascia as good a fit as possible and avoid any gaps.
Where the decking surface is well above ground level some homeowners may feel that the amount of wood on show is too much for their taste. If this is the case then there is a solution which allows you to block off the decking and reduce the amount of timber on show.
This can be achieved by installing trellis between the decking surface and ground level instead of fascia. The gaps between the trellis runs can be secured by backing the trellis with a wire mesh such as chicken wire.
By installing flower beds around the decking edge you can then use plants and shrubs to hide the majority of the trellis and improve the aesthetics. Creepers and climbers that will attach themselves to the trellis and wire mesh can look great and also act as an additional barrier to deter rodents.
Before rodents build a nest they will first scout out the area to make sure that it contains everything that they need – namely a food supply. It is therefore important to ensure that you don’t leave any food around the exterior of your home to attract them.
Be sure to place your rubbish bags in your wheelie bin or dustbin and that the lid is fitted securely. If you have any pets avoid leaving food dishes outside and be sure to check the decking and rest of the garden for spilt food after a BBQ or dining outside.
Laying traps and seeking assistance
Whilst the steps listed above should go a long way to preventing rodents from making themselves at home under your decking, there are of course those that are more persistent. They may even go as far as to chew their way through any wire mesh that you might have installed.
If you find that, despite your best efforts, rodents have made their home under your decking then your next step is to lay traps. Whether you go for lethal or non-lethal traps is down to your personal choice.
Just remember that you have to retrieve the traps at some point, so don’t position them in a place that you can’t easily reach. If the situation has got a little past setting your own traps and you are dealing with an infestation then it could be time to give the experts a call and let them deal with the problem.
Article is provided courtesy of Martin from decking design and manufacturers Richard Burbidge.