I'm building a new home. My neighborhood has had a problem with pests
living under porches and decks. We're building a front porch that will
only be two feet (or less) off the ground, so there will be enough room
underneath for pests but not room for pest control professionals, pest
abatement activities, etc. Is there something we can do during the
construction phase to keep pests from nesting under there, like razor
wire or something? We're mostly concerned about skunks, racoons, and
wild cats. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. - John
Two foot high? Crawl under once in a while and destroy any nest.
Or put fencing, maybe 1/2 hardware cloth around the area and if
you don't want to look at the fence, build a nice lattice work
over it.. If you are really paranoid, use 3' wide fence and bury
it a foot below grade for burrowing pests.
You could use Critter Ridder:
click on Repellants, then on Critter Ridder.
If it's an adult female with babies, use Raccoon Eviction Fluid.
As it states in the copy, "Raccoon Eviction Fluid, this is not a chemical
repellant, but elicits an instinctual biological reaction in the adult
female raccoon to flee, and in the process move her young out of wherever
she is currently dwelling."
Fox urine is also effective. Can by at your local garden center. Scares away
everything, including neighbors dog (but I found something even more
Other than small animals, the next biggest problem can be ants and so forth.
Especially if you eat or feed the dogs on the porch. Dogs are sloppy
eaters. Most decking on porches lets water pass through. Washing the deck
down only waters the critters and the habitat beneath, and keeps them there
if the climate is generally dry.
A decent skirt usually keeps out the small animals, does nothing for
insects. Rodents can go straight through a lattice-work skirt. A cinder
block skirt is fine. Doesn't need concrete fill as its only supporting its
Wouldn't hurt to put applicable long term insecticide granules on top of the
piers, and on the ground before closing off with decking.
When we built our house, I extended the concrete stemwall foundation along
the outside edge of the porch (front deck). That's in addition to the
stemwall on the inside edge of the porch (that supports the weight of the
I have a removable section of about 4 deck boards I can lift out to access
the area under the porch, which is also how I get to the crawlspace under
It was only slightly more work during construction, but I have been very
happy with it. No animals are able to get access under the porch, and I
don't have to worry about soil being backfilled up against wood anywhere.
I put a layer of pea gravel under the porch, as well as in the crawlspace
of the house. Easy on the knees when crawling, and it drains well.
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