Do Rats Live Under Garden Decking?

Henry A
get rid of rats under decking

A well-designed decking can transform your garden in so many ways. However, maintaining your plastic decking can be challenging, with so many issues and problems you might encounter. For this reason, many choose low-maintenance alternatives to wood, such as composite decking. One of the common problems with decking that concerns many homeowners are rat infestations. Even two rats can reach a population of a thousand in one year if not prevented. Realistically, it is not likely to be at that point, but you will have a big problem on your hands when they populate your decking. But the question is, do rats live under garden decking? If so, what causes it? And what are the steps you can do to prevent it?

Rats Can Live Garden Deckings

Having a decking on your garden requires inspection and maintenance to avoid many problems, and one of them is rat infestation. Under certain circumstances, rats and other critters can live under your decking. Not only is this a health and sanitary problem, but these critters can also nibble, scratch, and ruin your decking. And they can also destroy the precious plants in your garden.

So what causes rats and other creatures to live under garden deckings? One of the most probable reasons is litter. When you have picnics or eat meals on your decking, some food may fall on your decking floor. If the decking board gaps are too big, food may fall further down under your decking

without you noticing it.

How Can You Tell if Rats Live Under Your Decking?

Seeing a rat running around your garden is a clear indication of rat infestation. But what if you don’t see the rats and still suspect that you have a rat problem? There are a few ways you can tell.

One easy way is to look under your decking. Check for any signs of nesting. Rats tend to gather paper, tissue, cloth, and other materials to create nests. Another way is to look for any holes or digging, as many varieties of rats burrow underground. Check for any droppings or leftover food. If any of these are present, you may have a problem at hand.

You can also buy a single rat trap and set it under your decking. Lastly, if you see baby rats, which are often less careful than adults, then you have a big problem.

Preventing Rat Problems

rat under composite decking

The easiest way to solve rat infestation problems is to call professional pest controllers. However, that can be rather expensive. The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can prevent and solve rat problems without the need to spend hundreds on pest control.

Use Carpets and Rugs – First, you will want to make the decking uninhabitable as possible. Meaning, you will want to avoid any food or liquids spilling under your decking. If you plan to use your decking for BBQ parties or family get-togethers, you can put rags and carpets on your decking floor. However, make sure to get the right ones that won’t damage your decking.

Regular Maintenance – Another way is to clean your decking regularly. It may not be an easy task, but it will save you so much more effort and money than dealing with a rat problem. Wipe any food, liquids, and other debris on your decking as soon as possible. If possible, set a regular schedule to clean under your decking.

Cover the Ground – Since many rats burrow underground, it can also be helpful to place landscaping fabric and gravel on your decking’s foundation. Not only will it prevent rats from digging underground, but it can also avoid plant growth, which may make the place more habitable to creatures such as rats.

Block All Entrances – If you have a raised decking, another way to prevent rats is to block all possible ways for rats to live under your garden decking. Cover any entrances with chicken wire or mesh. If you want a more decorative choice, you can also try installing trellis to block passages.

Poison, Traps, and Repellant – For many years, homeowners use poison to get rid of rat problems. However, for most people, not only is it not safe, but it is also inhumane. As an alternative, you can use traps instead. You can also find different repellants, from commercial products to homemade concoctions.

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