Monday, October 23, 2017

Two Strategies for Excluding Wildlife from Sheds

Stephen M. Vantassel

Two Strategies for Excluding Wildlife from Sheds

In the last post, I discussed why excluding wildlife and vertebrates from sheds was an important component in reducing conflicts with wildlife. Now I will cover two strategies for excluding wildlife from sheds.

The basic principle is increasing the ease of access. Like the locks on your house, if your neighbor has poorer security, you don’t need as much. So it is with wildlife. If you harden your site, wildlife will likely move to easier pickings. All wildlife that utilize the areas under sheds tend to go to the edge, and dig underneath. So your goal is to extend the barrier so that they are standing on it. This way, when they get to the edge, they dig down and right into the barrier. Few wildlife are “smart” enough to step back from the edge and start digging there. Thus a 12-18 floor skirt will likely be enough to stop them.

Patio Block Exclusion Method. Place the narrow end against the structure. Angle so water flows away from structure. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel

So there are two ways to create this skirt. By the way, NEVER perform exclusion if there is any chance an animal is living there.

Option 1. Patio Block Method.

With patio blocks, no digging is required. Just place the narrow end against the structure. Use screen to make up any distance between the shed wall and the stone. The stone is heavy to move and can be a bit pricey but it is easier to install than the digging option in many situations.

Sub-surface screening method to prevent burrowing animals from accessing structures. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

Option 2. Subterranean screening.

Most recommendations on screening require back-breaking work, telling you to dig a 1 x 1 foot trench to bury the L shaped screen. Sure that is a gold standard, but for most people not necessary. You just need to attach the screen to the base of the shed wall, extend it down to about 2 inches below the soil surface, then bend it out at a 90 degree angle away from the wall out at least 12 inches. A sod shovel will allow you remove the grass, lay the screen down, then place the sod over the screen. In a few weeks, you won’t know the screen was there.

Bottom line, protect your sheds BEFORE you have a problem and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.