Depending on the type of deck you use, you may encounter a few problems here and there. But for many homeowners, their concern is infestations. Aside from insects and other garden creatures, many wonders whether rats can be a potential problem when they install a deck. If you’re thinking the same, should you be concerned? Do composite decking attract rats?
Do Decks Attract Rats?
Building a deck is not an easy task, and certainly not a cheap one. Before you decide to have one, you may have considered some things, rats included. So, can decks attract rats? Technically, decks won’t attract any rats or any garden creature for that matter. How you built the deck and what you do on it is what makes rats attracted to it.
When building elevated decks, a portion of the deck underneath will be hollow. Because of this, it can be a potential nesting ground for little critters, such as rats, mice, squirrels, and even rabbits. More so if the lower portion of your deck is inaccessible or covered. They make up as perfect hiding spots for these types of small critters. However, what makes them attracted mostly depends on what you do on the deck, not how you built it.
For instance, if you do regular barbecue parties during the weekends, food may likely feel on your deck’s floor. As that happens, some of it may fall through the gaps of your deck. And since you won’t notice it, food and other debris may accumulate under your deck, which will attract rodents, including rats. Aside from rats, you’ll likely also have a problem with mould growth and mildew.
Lastly, it also depends on your area. If you notice that critters, such as rats, are common in your neighbourhood, there’s a chance there may be some hiding underneath your deck. Because of this, you will need to consider your surroundings if you plan to build anything in your backyard, decking included.
So depending on your situation, you may experience problems with rat infestations in your garden. Not only can they ruin your deck, but these rodents will damage your garden and landscaping. Some may even carry harmful diseases. So the question is, how can you prevent such problems? And if you already have a problem in your hands, what can you do to fix it?
Preventing Rat Infestations on Your Deck
There are several ways to prevent rat infestation from becoming a problem. First and foremost, you’ll want to maintain your deck. As much as possible, be careful of spilling food or drinks on your decking. Not only will it prevent rat problems, but it can also prevent you from dealing with hard-to-remove stains and moulds from forming.
Of course, it’s not possible not to spill any food and drink on your deck. But if it happens, it’s best to clean them up as soon as possible. Aside from maintaining your deck, you also have to have a regular cleaning schedule, to remove any dirt and food stuck in-between the boards.
Another thing you consider, if you haven’t built a deck yet, is to choose the design carefully. If you are planning an elevated deck, you may want to leave the underside of your deck accessible for inspection and cleaning. For ground-level decks, covering the foundation with gravel and landscaping sheets can not only prevent weed growth but will also prevent rats and other creatures from digging their way through your deck.
Lastly, choosing high-quality decking boards may also help. Among your choices, wood is the least expensive. However, it is susceptible to different kinds of infestations, rats included. Composite decking, on the other hand, is resistant to moulds and mildew. They are also effortless to maintain and clean, which is crucial for preventing critter problems.
How to Deal With Rat Infestations
Preventing rat infestations is possible, but what if you are already facing such problems? To get rid of the decks, many use poison to kill the critters. While it does work, it can be dangerous, more so if you have pets and kids. Alternatively, you can use various types of rat traps that you purchase in gardening shops. You can check reviews to see how effective they are.
Decking doesn’t attract rats, but it can be a potential problem. However, it doesn’t have to be. With regular maintenance, inspection, and cleaning, you can prevent these critters from getting near your deck. Choosing an excellent design and high-quality materials for your deck may also help.