Raccoons are drawn to nest under decks for obvious reasons. It's warm, dry, and protected from most disturbances. It is also near food sources, in the form of suburban gardens and trash cans. If you are unfortunate enough to have a raccoon under your deck, removal is the only option.
There are many reasons why a raccoon should not be left beneath your deck. Like any wildlife, raccoons can carry diseases. These can be minor concerns, like fleas, or deadly diseases like rabies. These diseases can affect your pets or even the humans in your home.
Raccoons can also be dangerous, especially if they are surprised or feel threatened. They will bite and scratch, which can inflict major wounds. Raccoons have been known to kill pets, particularly smaller ones like cats or backyard chickens. The raccoons are also dangerous to your home, as they may tear away at the decking boards or siding on the home below the deck as they nest and seek further safety and warmth.
Safety is of the utmost concern, so removal is best performed by a professional. One issue with DIY tactics is if the raccoon has babies under the deck, you may get rid of mama but then still have others living in the space. There are also usually regulations on removal, which may include that methods must be humane or nonlethal and that the animal must be transported to an allowed location.
Professionals use tactics that fall within local regulations, and they are also aware of the legal release areas if a humane relocation is necessary. Often, professionals will use traps to lure the adult raccoons out. They will then remove any babies manually, limiting any stress caused by the process. Finally, the raccoons will be relocated or euthanized humanely, depending on the service and local regulations.
The problem will occur again, though, if follow-up isn't done to keep the raccoons out from under the deck. Next time it may even be an animal that is a greater nuisance, such as a skunk.
Skirting is needed to seal up the underside of your deck. Keep in mind that raccoons are smart with nimble paws, so they can tear holes in wood skirting. Metal skirting or tightly woven screens that are screwed in place and sunk into the ground work better than other options.
Contact a residential wildlife removal service immediately if a raccoon is setting up a den beneath your deck.
To learn more, visit a website like https://www.molterpestandwildlife.com.