Garden decks have become an extension of the home and living space for many families; they act as a bridge between the comfort of indoor spaces and the fresh air of the outdoors. Despite the benefits of garden decking, your deck design might come with some potential risks, especially when it comes to rodents. As many rodents are burrowers and tend to live in snug spaces, the underside of a deck may appear to be an appealing place to find shelter. This might even lead to an infestation. But, there are certain ways in which decks can be designed or modified to keep rodents out.
One feature of garden decks that is perhaps the most attractive to rodents is when there is a gap between the deck and the ground surface. To protect your deck from infiltrating rodents, wood, chicken wire, or mesh can be used as a barrier, but it is important to consider that smaller rodents such as mice and rats may be able to squeeze through even the smallest gap or opening. With this in mind, any design features that may include gaps, holes, or any potential entry point for small creatures could act as a potential risk factor, or motivation, for rodents to take root.
Though this is not an inherent design feature, food and waste is another way in which rodents may be tempted to take up residence under a deck. As perfect platforms for barbecues, meals, and social gatherings, it is easy for food scraps to fall onto, or around, the deck’s surface. Even a cluster of crumbs may be enough to attract creatures such as rats and mice. Having gaps between the boards on your deck may increase this risk, as crumbs and small food scraps could escape into the deck’s underbelly. Having a trash can or bird feeder close by can also act to tempt rodents into your garden. It is important to ensure that your deck remains as clean as possible, and to minimize all gaps and openings on its surface and sides so that no hungry creatures stop by and end up staying.
Finally, the surrounding plant-life in your garden could also make it easy for small rodents to make their way under your deck. Low-lying shrubbery is a sort of rodent highway. It provides shelter and protection from potential predators. Therefore, “overgrown hedges and lengthy grass can be another attraction for pests in our garden – so keeping on top of trimming and mowing is essential.” Protective plants such as these might be used as stepping stones leading to the shelter provided by a garden deck. So, to keep rodents out, minimize entry points in the form of gaps, food sources, and tall, protective plant-life.
Understanding how what may be attracting rodents to your home is vital to keeping it in good condition. In the case that you do find rodents around your house, there are many resources online, like howtogetridofrat.com and getridofpests.com that offer information on how you can remove them. Be sure to know the correct procedure before going about their removal in order to upkeep the protection of both your home and the rodents’ wellbeing.
 Garden Trade Specialist. “How to Pest Proof Your Garden and Decking.” Garden Trade Specialist, Garden Trade Magazine, www.gardentradespecialist.com/pest-proof-garden.
 “What Attracts Rats?” Reference, IAC Publishing, www.reference.com/pets-animals/attracts-rats-e49e415adb9b1fa3.
 The House Beautiful. “How to Pest-Proof Your Garden Decking.” House Beautiful, House Beautiful, 19 Apr. 2018, www.housebeautiful.com/uk/garden/a19837554/how-to-pest-proof-garden-decking/.