How to Bug-Proof Your Deck & Floorboards

Like ants at a picnic, it’s not fun to deal with unwanted bugs, crawling or buzzing around your deck. The good news is that you have several options for creating a bug-proof deck. For homeowners in the planning stages of building a deck, you can start by considering pressure treated wood or composites, which are virtually immune to pesky insects. However, for those who already have a deck -- and even years after it’s built -- there are always new opportunities to keep your deck protected from insects.

Installing Under Deck Screening To Your Deck Floor

Even if you’ve decided on a relatively bug-proof material like composite decking, you may still find yourself with insect problems. The underside of a deck can provide a nice shady area for a variety of crawling creatures to make their home.

If you’re concerned about bugs coming up from the gaps between floorboards, you may want to place a screen under the deck floor. But before making any modifications, be sure you check the warranty on your deck to know if you’re at risk of accidentally voiding it.

Installing Screening Under An Existing Deck

Under deck screening can be placed between joists to create a highly effective barrier against bugs. Inserting screening under a deck floor that has already been constructed can be more labor intensive compared to placement prior to construction. But depending on the design of your deck, adding screening is often as simple as stapling the material to the underside of the structure.

Installing A Deck Screen During Construction

By contrast, installing an under deck screening during the initial construction of your deck is typically much simpler. You can lay the screen on joists and hold them in place with the weight of the deck boards. This doesn’t necessarily require using staples, adhesives, or other modifications that might jeopardize a warranty.

Additional Ways to Bug-Proof Your Deck

Placing a screen under your deck floor isn’t your only choice -- and it isn’t always your best choice. Another option worth considering is hanging mesh screens, which encompass the entire perimeter of your deck. This additional layer of screening can keep bugs out while creating a more private space for your guests.

The proper lighting can also play a role in keeping bugs away. For your exterior lighting, consider swapping over to a bulb that can offer lower brightness and a warmer color temperature, like a 2700K LED. These lights are far less prone to attracting the attention of flying bugs.

Preventing Insect Damage

Under deck screening won’t protect you from burrowing insects like termites. The best way to avoid insect damage to your deck is constructing it from materials specifically designed to withstand insects. Most modern wooden decks are treated with chemicals to keep the bugs away, and you’ll find that composites are nearly invulnerable to infestation.

Add a Deck Skirt Made of Composite Or Pressure Treated Wood

Even the best under deck screening won’t stop insects from crawling around the edges of your deck. But installing deck skirting can cover the gap between the edges of your deck and the ground, preventing bugs from getting under your deck in the first place.

Constructing a deck skirt can be costlier and more labor intensive than using under deck screening alone, but it’s also one of the most effective methods of deck bug control. Just remember to build your skirt from pressure treated woods or composites to stay protected from burrowing pests like termites.

Considering some of these tips during the planning stages of building a deck can help give you greater, pest-free enjoyment of your deck in the years to come. Even if you have an existing deck, some of these tips can help you build a better barrier between you and bugs when it comes to spending time outdoors.


Popular Care Articles
Deck Cleaning

Pressure Washer Buying Guide

When it comes to cleaning your deck, it's important to choose the right pressure washer. Use this pressure washer buying guide from Decks.com to help with your decision!

Deck Cleaning

Preventing & Treating a Slippery Deck

Inclement weather can cause both wood and composite decks to become slippery and potentially unsafe. Learn how to prevent and treat a slippery outdoor deck at Decks.com.

Deck Cleaning

How to Pressure Wash a Deck

Pressure washing your deck is the best way to keep your investment looking like new. Learn how to properly clean your wood deck with these tips from Decks.com.

Next Step: Materials Articles
Composite Decking

Capped Composite Decking

What is capped composite decking? It's a great option if you like the look of wood but not the maintenance. Learn about capped composite at Decks.com.

Composite Decking

Best Composite Decking Materials & Options for 2024

Low maintenance composite decking materials are a great option when thinking long-term. Discover the best composite decking material options for your home.

Wood Materials

Redwood Decking: Cost, Maintenace & Types of Redwood

Redwood is a popular wood decking material option with a fragrant, earthy reddish brown color. Learn about the types of redwood decking at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Popular Care Articles

How to Remove Scuffs and Scratches from Composite Decking

Removing scuffs and scratches can help make your composite deck look like new. Learn how to fix and prevent your composite deck from future scratches.


How to Restore & Refinish a Deck

Decks need maintenance. A twice-yearly cleaning is needed at a minimum. But wood decks—even with good upkeep—can still warp, rot, or get termites. Plus, no stain or paint job lasts forever. Fortunately, you can reset the clock by restoring your deck and refinishing it.

Deck Cleaning

How to Remove Paint from a Wood Deck

Aiming to refresh your deck with new paint or sealer? Learn the easiest and fastest methods of stripping paint from your wood deck with Decks.com.

Next Step: Materials Articles
Composite Decking

Eco Friendly Composite & Wood Decking Options

Looking for the most environmentally friendly way to add a gorgeous deck to your home? Learn how composite decking is made from recycled materials at Decks.com.

Decking Reviews


Latitudes composite decking and railing materials are manufactured by UFP Ventures II, Inc. in Prairie Du Chein, WI.

Composite Decking

Comparing Trex Decking Lines: Signature vs Lineage vs Transcend vs Select vs Enhance

Discover the four main types of Trex decking: Transcend Lineage, Transcend, Select, and Enhance. Check out our review to learn what sets each apart.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic