Raccoons Under the Deck: Defense and Removal Strategies

Raccoon invasion under a deck presents a common urban wildlife challenge that many homeowners often encounter. These intelligent and adaptable creatures seek shelter and safety beneath decks, posing various issues.

This introduction delves into the intricate world of raccoons beneath decks, exploring their behavior, potential risks, and the essential steps homeowners can take to address this issue.

From understanding their habits to implementing humane and effective solutions, this guide sheds light on the strategies required to manage raccoons under the deck successfully.

Join us as we navigate the world of raccoon invasions and learn how to maintain a harmonious living space with these resourceful creatures

How to Remove Raccoons Under a Deck

Here are some steps for effectively removing raccoons from beneath a deck:

  1. Make the area less inviting: Raccoons are naturally drawn to dark, quiet, and safe spots. Discourage them by employing light, sound, and odor. For instance, position a bright light near the entrance to their den, play loud music, or place rags soaked in apple cider vinegar or ammonia.

  2. Exclude the raccoons: To permanently prevent raccoons from returning under the deck, dig a 12”x12” trench around the deck and secure a piece of ¼” wire mesh along the bottom of the entire structure. Angle the mesh downward into the ground for 8”-12”, and then bend it outward (away from the deck walls) at a 90-degree angle to form an “L” shape. Fill the trench once done, ensuring that any raccoons already living under the deck have vacated or been evicted beforehand.

  3. Utilize one-way doors: Professionals employ one-way doors to safely remove raccoons from beneath decks. These doors allow the animals to exit on their own, preventing them from returning.

  4. Avoid trapping: Removal experts generally recommend strategies designed to encourage raccoons to leave voluntarily rather than trapping them, as trapping can be less humane and less effective.

  5. Seek professional assistance: If you’re uncomfortable handling raccoons or if the problem persists, it’s advisable to enlist the services of a professional wildlife removal expert.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively deal with raccoons under your deck.

Alternatively, you can turn to our comprehensive guide titled ‘How to get Rid of Raccoons.’

Risks of Having Raccoons Under a Deck

Having raccoons under a deck can pose several significant risks, including:

  • Disease Transmission: Raccoons can carry and transmit diseases like rabies, leptospirosis, raccoon roundworm, salmonella, and E. coli to both humans and pets.

  • Property Damage: Raccoons can cause substantial damage to the deck, insulation, and wiring through their chewing and scratching habits.

  • Noise and Odor: Raccoons are known for being noisy and can generate unpleasant odors, which can become a significant nuisance for homeowners.

  • Risk of Orphaning Baby Raccoons: If a mother raccoon resides under the deck, attempting to trap or evict her may result in the orphaning of baby raccoons, adding to the complexity of the situation.

Taking proactive steps to remove raccoons from under the deck is crucial in order to mitigate these risks effectively.

Integrity Damages

Raccoons residing beneath a deck can have detrimental effects on the deck’s structural integrity in various ways. Firstly, they can inflict damage by chewing and scratching the wood, gradually weakening the deck’s overall strength.

Secondly, their burrowing tendencies can lead to soil shifting, potentially rendering the deck unstable. Additionally, raccoons may create access points to the deck by chewing through vents, soffits, and fascia boards, which can permit water entry, causing rot and decay.

The resulting damage can lead to costly repairs, and in severe cases, necessitate the complete replacement of the deck. To safeguard the structure, it is imperative to remove raccoons from beneath the deck promptly.

How to Disinfect a Deck After a Raccoon Invasion

To effectively disinfect a deck following a raccoon invasion, follow these steps:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Before commencing the cleaning process, it’s crucial to don protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and goggles to prevent direct contact with raccoon feces and urine.

  2. Remove Debris: Use a shovel, broom, or vacuum cleaner to clear away any debris, feces, and urine from the deck. Place this waste in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.

  3. Disinfect the Deck: Thoroughly clean the deck with a bleach solution or disinfectant. Prepare the solution by mixing one part bleach with nine parts water and apply it to the deck using a mop or sprayer. Allow the solution to sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse the deck with water and let it dry completely.

  4. Dispose of Cleaning Materials: After completing the cleaning process, dispose of all used cleaning materials, gloves, and protective gear in a plastic bag and discard it in the trash.

It is paramount to disinfect the deck after a raccoon invasion to prevent the potential transmission of diseases and ensure the safety of individuals and pets who may use the deck.

In cases of severe infestation, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a wildlife removal service.

How to Prevent Raccoons From Returning to the Deck

Here are effective strategies to prevent raccoons from returning to your deck:

  1. Remove Food and Water Sources: Raccoons are drawn to food and water. Eliminate these temptations by refraining from leaving pet food outdoors, securing trash cans, and ensuring there’s no stagnant water accumulation.

  2. Make the Area Uninviting: Raccoons favor dark, quiet, and safe locations. You can deter them by introducing elements of light, sound, and odor. Consider placing a bright light near their den entrance, playing loud music, or employing rags soaked in apple cider vinegar or ammonia.

  3. Block Access Points: Raccoons can exploit openings like vents, soffits, and fascia boards to access the deck. Seal these access points using wire mesh or similar materials to deny them entry.

  4. Utilize Natural Deterrents: Employ natural deterrents like spicy pepper and vinegar sprays to discourage raccoons from approaching the deck.

  5. Install a Physical Barrier: Prevent raccoons from climbing onto the deck by installing a physical barrier such as a fence or netting.

Taking proactive measures to keep raccoons away from your deck is vital to prevent further damage and reduce potential health risks.