Wildlife Under the Porch or Deck
decide whether the animal's presence really poses
a problem for you. If not, leave her alone. Most
wildlife is harmless and will not bother you. If
you really believe the animal poses a problem, you
will need to determine the animal's entry point.
This will often be a hole dug under the edge of
the deck or porch. Once the entry point has been
found, you will need three things: a bright light
such as a mechanic's trouble light, a radio and
some type of safe repellent, such as ammonia-soaked
Shine the light and place the radio under the deck
or outside the animal's entrance. Tune it to a hard
rock or talk show station. Soak rags with ammonia
and place them near the entrance. Now you have made
this dark, quiet place bright, noisy and smelly.
It is important to do this for three days, both
day and night, wetting the rags with ammonia two
times a day. If the animal has babies, this will
give her enough time to relocate them safely. The
radio can be turned down to a level that allows
you and your neighbors to get to sleep!
To determine if the animal is gone, heavily sprinkle
flour or baby powder in front of the entrance. Alternately,
loosely balled newspaper can be placed in the hole.
If there are no tracks or the newspaper is not disturbed
in a 24-hour period, the animal has probably moved
out and the entrance should be sealed off immediately.
Trapping and relocating
an animal is usually ineffective in the long run
and often inhumane, especially in spring and summer
when babies could be left behind to starve.
Please remember, anytime you have an opening underneath
a deck or porch, wild animals will make a home there.
To prevent a future wildlife problem, seal off all
openings using bricks, hardware cloth or heavy metal
mesh, ideally the bottom of which is buried 12"
below the ground.