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What Can I Put Under Decking to Stop Rats?

Composite decking is an excellent addition to your outdoor living area. Your decking project will provide an additional area for relaxation and socialising.

On the other hand, if your decking is not maintained properly, it can attract rats over time. Rats and other small rodents are attracted to areas that have accessible food, shelter, and water sources.

In this blog, we will discuss the factors that cause this and the prevention methods to stop it from happening, ensuring that your decking is a clean and pest-free environment. 

What should I be mindful of?

Food Sources 

As you can imagine, one of the main reasons rats are drawn to outdoor spaces is the availability of food. Therefore, by minimising food sources, you will significantly decrease the chances of unwanted pests entering your garden. Here are a few tips to help you do so: 


  • Clean Regularly: Cleaning and sweeping away any food spillage on your decking as soon as you notice it is an obvious prevention method that shouldn’t be ignored. 
  • Securing Bin Bags: If you are sealing bin bags full of leftover food, you must ensure that they are tightly sealed and closed. If these are not tightly sealed and left in your garden, the rubbish can release odours that attract rats and pests. 
  • Your pet’s food bowls: If you have a cat or dog and they typically do not finish their full meal and leave the remains of their dinner in the bowl, it is best to bring the bowls inside and away from the decking. 
  • Bird Feeders: Bird feeders are another source of nutrition for rats that can be overlooked. By cleaning them and removing any spilt seeds, you will help prevent a rat infestation. 



Rats seek overgrown bushes and plants, which can provide hiding places and shelter from potential predators. By trimming overgrown vegetation and bushes, you decrease the chances of rodents seeing your garden as a suitable habitat. 


Water Sources 

All animals require water to survive; therefore, it is essential to manage water sources in your garden. As mentioned previously, removing your dog’s bowls that contain both food and water is a good idea. Additionally, you may have places with standing water, such as clogged gutters or containers that collect rainwater. It is best to remove these if you notice rats appearing in your garden. 


Raised Decking Areas / Entry Points

Decking projects that are raised increase the chances of rats being drawn to your garden. The space that is created underneath decking boards when they are raised off the ground can be deemed a suitable habitat for rodents. This is because there is sufficient space surrounding the posts and joists of the framework, which can also provide shelter and safety for the rats.


By sealing entry points to the framework of your decking, you will prevent rats from entering this part of your garden.

Other Prevention Methods

Set up traps: If it is too late and you have already noticed rats in your garden, you may have to set up traps to kill them. Placing snap traps in strategic areas where rats are most likely to travel will catch some of them. 


Pest Control: If your garden is truly infested with rats, then you may want to seek professional advice from a professional pest control company. They will be able to implement effective measures to eliminate the problem. 


Deterrents: Rats dislike the smell of essential oils such as peppermint oil, citronella, and eucalyptus. You can mix water with one of these oils and pour the solution into a spray bottle. By spraying this solution in your garden, you increase the chances of the rats finding a habitat elsewhere and avoiding your garden.

If you are planning on spraying this solution on your decking boards, it is best to check with your decking supplier that this will not cause any damage or stains on the surface of the boards.


By following these tips, you can create a luxurious outdoor living area that is resistant to rats, ensuring that your decking remains clean and pleasant. Rats can carry numerous diseases and types of bacteria that can be harmful to your pets and loved ones.

If you notice an infestation of rats, you must try to remove them as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of the members of your household.

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