How to Bug-Proof a Deck

Written by mason howard
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How to Bug-Proof a Deck
A bug zapper will help eliminate scores of bugs from your deck environment. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Outdoor family barbecue nights, nestling up with a good book in a favourite deck chair, and romantic nights star gazing and swinging on porch rockers with that special someone: The coming of summer marks the beginning of spending time outside doing all kinds of things on the deck. An invasion of flies, mosquitoes, moths and other bugs can, however, ruin deck activities. Take steps to bug-proof a porch and prevent pesky insects from getting in the way of enjoying outdoor activities.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paint or deck sealer
  • Mosquito net curtains
  • Bug zapper
  • Screening
  • Staple gun
  • Deck skirting
  • Rot- and insect-resistant decking materials

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  1. 1

    Paint or seal the deck boards to prevent accumulated moisture absorption, which can lead to rot. Many bugs, such as ants, termites and stinkbugs, find refuge in rotting wood.

  2. 2

    Install mosquito net curtains over any covered porch openings, including over the deck railing. Options include mosquito net curtains with metal tracks, which screw to the porch roof frame, as well as curtains that attach with self-adhesive, hook-and-loop tape strips.

  3. 3

    Hang a bug zapper near the exterior perimeter of the porch. Keep the zapper far enough from the mosquito netting to avoid a fire hazard. Light-attracted bugs will venture to the zapper light instead of the porch, where they will be met with a high-voltage shock.

  4. 4

    Remove any weeds or dense foliage where insects may harbour and breed from underneath or around the deck. Remove any loose objects, such as breeze blocks, that have been sitting for a long time and beneath which communities of bugs may be living.

  5. 5

    Cover the ground under the deck with gravel to create a dry, draining environment and to avoid moisture, which attracts many types of insects. Staple screening on the underside of the deck floor and cover openings between the deck floor and the ground with deck skirting or lattice with screening stapled behind it.

  6. 6

    Build any future deck additions using a rot- and insect-resistant wood, such as redwood, cedar, cypress or chestnut, or with pressure-treated, composite or synthetic lumber.

  7. 7

    Turn outdoor deck lights off when not needed to avoid attracting an overabundance of light-loving insects.

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