While you're enjoying yourself on your deck, you don't want to find a family of rabbits enjoying themselves under your deck. An adult pair of rabbits can produce three separate litters of 2 to 10 bunnies during the spring and summer seasons. You can see why a mildly annoying nuisance can become a severe problem in just a few months. Further, if wild rabbits make a nest under your deck, they eventually will die under your deck. The smell of rotting rabbit is unpleasant, to say the least. Learn how to get rid of rabbits under your deck, and how to keep them out.
Things You'll Need
- Hand trowel
- 2-by-4 treated lumber
- 1/2-by-8-inch steel bars/nails
- 1-inch stainless steel or galvanized hex netting (chicken wire)
- Wire cutters
- Galvanized nails
Find out exactly what you're up against. Look under the deck to see if there are droppings. If you see droppings, you have at least one rabbit living under your deck. If you see matted rabbit fur on the ground, you have a nest. If there is a nest, you have several rabbits living under your deck.
The rabbit is the farmer's worst nightmare and he wastes no time eliminating the pests. If you would rather not kill the rabbits, there are other options. Spray repellents or your dog may may be deterrents, but rabbits will have a hard time resisting the safety of living under your deck because it offers excellent protection against predators and weather. You can humanely relocate rabbits using traps, but you will likely need a trapping permit from your local government. You can hire a professional exterminator. Poison works too, but then you have to clean away the rotting dead bunny bodies. No matter which method you choose, make sure you have chased the rabbits out from under your deck before you move on to the next step.
Remove any decorative lattice that is installed around the perimeter, from the ground up to the deck. You will reinstall the lattice after you install the steel netting.
Using a hand trowel, dig a small trench about 3 inches deep around the perimeter of your deck. Installing the hex netting 3 inches deep will keep rabbits from crawling under it.
Cut 2-by-4s into 3-by-4 foot lengths. You want to establish a base for installing the chicken wire. You do not need to install an uninterrupted length of wood around the entire perimeter of your deck. You only want to install enough so that the chicken wire is firmly attached to the deck. Drill 3/4-inch holes in the center of the 2-by-4s about every foot.
Lay the cut and drilled 2-by-4s on the ground around the perimeter of the deck, just inside the trench. Work around the posts and footings. Secure the wood to the ground by hammering the steel bars/nails into the ground.
Put on leather work gloves -- chicken wire can cut your hands.
Install the hex netting, starting where the deck meets the outside wall of the house. Unroll the chicken wire about 2 feet at a time. Place the chicken wire so that the bottom edge is in the trench and touching the secure 2-by-4s. Attach the chicken wire with hammer and galvanized nails to the 2-by-4s and the outer floor joist. If the deck is high, simply nail the chicken wire to the posts. Make sure the chicken wire is high enough that the rabbits cannot jump over it. Work around stairs by going underneath them.
Fill in the trench with dirt. Be sure to bury the wire that extends below the 2-by-4.
Replace or install new lattice directly over the chicken wire.
Tips & Warnings
- The key is to get the chicken wire around the entire perimeter of your deck so that the rabbits cannot get underneath it or over it.
- Be sure to use leather gloves when working with chicken wire. You can get cut up pretty good.
- Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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