Your deck is constantly under fire. Everything from wood rot to UV radiation is slowly killing your deck every second of every day. This alone is frustrating as if your deck is just raw wood, it can suffer far more than treated wood. Even paint can protect your deck from the sun, but varnish is better. Some of the dangers to your deck are living things. Carpenter bees and ants can drill holes in your deck and damage its structural integrity, this can also lead to rot and the bacteria in the feces of these insects can eat away at the wood over time. One of the most problematic creatures that invade decks is the raccoon. Raccoons will often defecate on decks leaving a steaming pile of feces so dangerous you cannot remove it yourself.
Raccoons are problematic animals. They have protected wildlife and cannot be removed inhumanely. During raccoon baby season it can be assumed that any raccoon inside of something from under a deck to in an attic to burrowing under a shed has babies. This is because raccoon females need to hide their babies from other male raccoons. Male raccoons help their babies get an evolutionary advantage by hunting and eating other raccoon’s babies. For this reason, you are unlikely to see a male raccoon hiding under your deck during baby season. In southern Ontario with its less harsh winters, the raccoon baby season runs from February to June and can even start and end earlier and later. Raccoons can have large litters of five or six children and are very aggressive when approached.
Getting a raccoon out of your deck is a process. You have two options, and one is much faster than the other. If you want them gone now, then you will have to trench your deck. This involves digging a trench around the deck one foot deep and six inches wide. The trench must be clear of dirt and patted down on the sides and bottom. Attach using screws with washers a galvanized steel mesh to the top of the deck. Lay the mesh down into the ground one foot deep and six inches out. This will prevent animals from burrowing or living under it. You can then get a one-way door from the hardware store and force the mother out. Do not forget to go in and get the babies when you have a chance. This will get rid of the raccoons and protect your deck in the long term.
The alternative is trapping the mother and relocating her with her babies to a nearby reserve or park. You are limited to one kilometer of distance, and you must make sure the area is suitable for a raccoon. Do not dump them on the side of the highway. Both of these processes are much better when done by professionals. A professional trapper can relocate them to a safe place much farther away that will help them survive better.