Every Spring I get calls to remove burrowing animals from underneath homes and out buildings. To get started the animals are trapped and removed but then there’s nothing to prevent another family group from denning in the same place. Preventative methods can be costly but for most situations the solution is simple and requires a little knowledge about denning behaviors for common species found around your home.
Common denning species that are likely to dig under your foundation and into your crawl space include skunks, raccoon, and marmots. The most common problem animals in Montana are marmots but the preventative methods for these species are the same.
Exclusionary methods must address the behavior of burrowing animals. These species will typically attempt to dig within 12-18 inches of a building or low deck. Knowing this fact allows exclusionary techniques like using inexpensive galvanized or nylon coated mesh to be used effectively.
Start by digging about 4 inches of dirt three feet back from the structure and lay out wire mesh of appropriate length and bend it (as shown in picture) to form an L shape and then bend it again to provide a place to attach it to the underside of the structure.
Then attach the barrier using 3/4″ fence staples about every 12 inches.
For obstacles such as shrubs or lighting simply cut a slit in the mesh to accommodate. Back fill the dirt over the mesh. At each point where the mesh was cut you’ll need to secure the mesh together by twisting wire through the cut areas about every 6 to 8 inches. If you don’t the opening may become a way in.
This inexpensive project is easy to do and will save you the aggravation that comes with burrowing critters.
When Critters come they will try to dig under the structure and will give up quickly which is a lot less time consuming than sitting on your porch with a rifle and maybe a little safer too!