DIY Network

How to Prevent Critters from Burrowing Under a Deck

These step-by-step instructions show how to dig a trench and bury wire mesh in order to prevent creatures from burrowing under a deck.

More in Remodeling

prevent creatures from burrowing under deck
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Dig the Trench

Use a shovel to carefully dig up the sod; it will be put back in place when the repair is complete.

With the sod removed, use a pickax to dig a trench around the deck. The trench should be 8" wide and approximately 1' deep (Image 1).

Remove the first row of boards from the deck. Use a cordless drill to remove the screws and detach the boards; a low slow-drill speed is necessary to avoid stripping the screw heads (Image 2).

Step 2: Install the Screen

Before installing the screen, crease the mesh to give it firm footing underground (Image 1).

Place the screen in the trench and attach to the deck posts with 2" screws (Image 2).

Step 3: Install the Exit Cage

Reattach the original deck boards over the new screen. Next, backfill the trench and replace the sod (Image 1). Do not replace the last board, closest to the house; a one-way door will be installed in this area.

Cut a hole in the new screen that’s approximately 1" smaller than the opening in the cage (Image 2).

Use wires to connect the cage to the screen. Cover the flanges of the cage with soil (Image 3).