Cats are using the underside of my porch for their bathroom. How do I get rid of the smell and stop them from using that area?
By Lynn from Alvaton, GA
Hi Lynn. As Lorelei implied, you need to make this area as inaccessible to feral and wildlife creatures as possible. These critters aren't going to abandon a partially sheltered retreat without such and who could blame them? (They need safe places!)
Lattice work is good for larger animals, but plywood, poly-vinyl or cement block, solid siding will make it more difficult for stray cats, other small mammals, and rodents to find free rent under your porch.
Honestly, these wild critters don't understand human boundaries as shelter is shelter is shelter to them so it's our job to be clear about where we don't want them . . . and I'm not talking about deadly poisons or traps, just obvious boundaries.
We have two porches of which the base is enclosed with cinder blocks. I'm sure the occasional mouse gets under such on occasion, but anything larger would have to dig a very visible hole. I keep an eye on these areas specifically because I don't want to "eliminate" an inadvertent invader: I'd rather put up a "no vacancy" sign - another cinder block or additional barriers. :-)
Find a good clerk at a local or box home improvement store or business to learn of options and ideas, or do some DIY internet searches, or check out a few books on the subject at your local library. I'm sure you can find at least a few solutions that will help you alleviate this problem without harming the inadvertent invaders. Good luck!
The lattice does not have to be permanent. My husband put door hinges on mine so we can get under the porch when necessary. Ask your vet for suggestions. That smell is horrible. Make sure to use the garden sprayer hose under there to wash the soil. Use a weed sprayer type attachment with bleach in to clean the underneath and helps to remove the smell. Using vinegar will help too NOT together as that is toxic. Anyway, you have to close it off to their entrance. My neighbor had this issue as well as they peed in her window wells to her basement. O M G! The same bleach or vinegar washes was all she could do. It smelled into the bedrooms in the basement.
Could put up sheets of lattice work fencing around the outside of the porch. It comes in wood as well as various colors of plastic.
They don't like citrus so put some lemon peels and pieces out there and that will keep them away. Good luck!