Remove Wild Animals Under Your Shed, Deck, Or Porch
It will not always be obvious when a wild animal takes up residence underneath your porch, deck, or shed, but there are certain signs that most people notice. You will probably hear rustling or scratching coming from the area or possibly notice an odd smell. In some cases, you will even see the animal, but this is not always true as many wild animals are hesitant around people. The good news is that it is fairly simple to remove wild animals that are underneath your shed or porch as long as you know what to do. Remember that some methods work better than others and a bit of work and patience is required.
Check For Babies
Before you start working to remove the wild animal, you always want to take the time to make sure that no baby animals are present. Separating a mother from her children is very inhumane as the mother will be worried and frantic, leading to possible injuries while trying to re-enter the area. At the same time, the babies will be left defenseless and without food, meaning they will die. If there are baby animals present, you should try to wait until they have grown old enough to care for themselves before using any of the following methods. If you have to urgently remove the animal and there are babies, contact a professional for help.
Trap And Relocate
Many people are tempted to simply trap the animals living under their deck and relocate them. This method is theoretically okay as long as you use a live trap and check it regularly so the animal doesn't spend excessive amounts of time within. There are, however, some issues with this method.
Depending on where you live or the wild animal in question, it may not even be legal to trap and relocate an animals. Some areas have banned trapping specific or all animals or the act of releasing them into the wild. If you live in an area where trapping the given animal is legal, make sure to get any required permits first and select a safe, humane trap. Just remember that relocating wild animals is typically not very effective. New animals will enter the space and the animals have a lower chance of survival after being relocated due to unfamiliarity with the food, water, and shelter in the area as well as competition for resources.
Encourage Them To Leave
A more effective and humane option is to encourage the wild animals to leave via repellents, sounds, or lights. The easiest way to do this is to set up bright lights or sounds by your porch so the area seems like a less desirable home than before. A good idea is to set up a portable radio or possibly a floodlight. You can also try a safe animal repellent, but try to avoid products with harsh chemicals and don't put them within the animal's den itself.
While one of the above methods of encouraging the wild animals to leave may be temporarily effective, it will not be a permanent solution. To make it permanent, you would have to leave the light, sound, or smell there forever, which simply isn't practical. As such, the best method is exclusion, possibly used in combination with these discouraging methods.
Exclusion involves sealing up all entry points to the area under the porch, deck, or shed except one, preferably the animal's main entrance. In this entrance, you will want to set up an exclusion barrier. This barrier will allow the animal to leave, but make it impossible to re-enter. Make sure to never use this method if babies are present. The easiest way to do this is to purchase an exclusion barrier or hire a professional to install one for you. If you prefer, however, you can do it yourself by following online instructions.
A related alternative is to seal up the entire area except the main entry point and rely on the noise or lights to get the animals to leave. Once you are positive they are gone, you can seal up the hole.
Don't Forget To Trench
Whether you are setting up an exclusion barrier or simply sealing the majority of the entrances to the area under your porch, you will want to remember to trench. This involves placing the wire mesh you use to seal the area underneath the earth, at least several inches deep. This is important as many of the animals who live under decks, such as skunks or woodchucks, will dig to get in or out and the buried mesh prevents this.
After you think you have successfully removed all of the wild animals, it is time to double check. One method is the newspaper test, which involves crumpling up newspaper and placing it in the remaining entry point. If it is disturbed, the animals are still present; if it is left alone, they are gone. you can also use a trail camera or simply monitor the area, but be sure to wait at least three days before sealing up the remaining entry point.
Read the Pest Wildlife Home Page page for helpful information and to learn more about Remove Wild Animals Under Your Shed, Deck, Or Porch
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