Protecting Your Deck from Common Pests
You love your wooden deck, especially when the weather is right and you can enjoy it to the fullest extent. As it turns out, plenty of unwanted visitors love your deck, too. In fact, they love just about anything made of wood, and the right kind of deck just so happens to contain plenty of it. Even if you don’t mind the presence of pests all that much, they can do a number on your deck, porch, or patio, and endanger you and your family. So, if you want to protect your property and people, you have to do something about these pests.
Which Pests Go After Decks?
In order to keep pests at bay, it helps to know which ones pose the biggest threat to your deck. The most common ones include:
- Carpenter Bees -- They’re called carpenter bees for a reason. These bees burrow into wood and construct their nests there. The holes they dig are typically small (about ½ inch wide), but no one wants to get stung while relaxing on their deck.
- Carpenter Ants -- The other “carpenters,” these ants also live in wood, so wood and composite decks make for perfect neighborhoods. This is a major concern because ants congregate in large numbers. If they get into your deck, you’ll be looking at lots and lots of holes.
- Powderpost Beetles -- These woodboring beetles will make several tiny holes (about the size of a sharpened pencil tip) in your deck if they gain access. Small as these holes may be, enough of them can reduce your deck’s structural integrity.
- Termites -- Most of us are familiar with this wood-eating species. Termites are ruthless in their quest for wood, chewing through various other materials along the way. Once they reach your deck, they can do serious damage, chewing a pencil-length tube from your deck at a time.
- Smaller Rodents -- Little rodents like rats and mice might take shelter underneath your deck and chew away at its structure. Additionally, they might carry dangerous diseases and attract other pests to your deck.
- Larger Rodents -- You have to worry about the bigger rodents too, such as raccoons, skunks, and possums. Because they’re bigger and stronger than small rodents, they can chew through your deck even faster. They can also carry diseases and attract other pests.
How to Protect Your Deck from These Pests
With so many creatures bent on your deck’s destruction, it might seem like an impossible task to keep them all away. While you can never get rid of all unwanted visitors, you can at least fortify your deck and discourage pests from entering by following some simple steps.
Clean Your Deck Regularly
Dirty decks attract all kinds of pests. So, keep it clean. If you’re eating or drinking on your deck, make sure any crumbs or spills are properly picked up. Sweep your deck once or twice a week to clear away dirt, leaves, and other debris. And have your deck professionally pressured washed about once a year. This will also blast away any mold or mildew.
Apply Wood Deck Stain
If your deck isn’t properly sealed or hasn’t been resealed for many years, make sure you apply a new coat of deck stain after thoroughly cleaning it. Staining your deck seals its pores, protecting the wood from moisture and sunlight while also making it hard for wood boring pests to poke through. Applying wood deck paint is another option for protecting your deck. However, deck paint doesn’t penetrate the wood’s pores. Still, coating your deck in any way discourages pests from causing trouble.
Introduce Certain Scents
Different pests are repelled by specific scents. For instance, citronella torches will keep flies and mosquitoes away, and garlic or rosemary can keep away certain insects that bite. If you have a problem with a certain type of pest, look into scents that might drive them away from your deck.
Update Your Lighting
Pests don’t just dislike certain smells; they also hate certain types of lighting. Yellow lights generally keep the most bugs away. Conversely, certain lights attract certain pests. So, be mindful of your deck’s lighting setup and optimize it accordingly.
Mesh screens create a physical barrier that prevents many pests from entering your deck. For this reason, some homeowners hang screens around their deck’s perimeter. But even if you don’t want to enclose your deck with screens, you can install a mesh sheet underneath the deck’s floorboards to keep bugs from gaining entry from below.
Be Gone, Pests!
As spring comes to a start and summer follows closely behind, ask yourself: Is your deck protected from common pests? If not, Nash Painting can help. We will pressure wash your deck before applying Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck coatings to keep it well-sealed and beautiful for years to come. When it comes to maintaining your wooden deck, go with the Nashville painting company with an eye for detail and a commitment to quality service.
To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!