Effective Ways to Block the Bottom of Your Fence & Keep Critters Out

Ever noticed that pesky critter sneaking under your fence or perhaps your beloved pet making a quick escape through the gap? It’s time you learned how to block the bottom of your fence. This task, while seemingly daunting, is actually quite manageable, and with the right guidance, you’ll be able to secure your yard effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Assessing the problem areas of your fence, considering potential intruders’ sizes, and the type and condition of your fence is the first step towards effective blocking of your fence’s bottom.
  • Choosing the right materials is crucial and should be based on the type of intruders you anticipate. Small creatures require fine mesh materials while larger intruders need sturdier reinforcements like concrete blocks or metal sheets.
  • Preparing the area around the fence involves clearing debris, inspecting the fence closely for any pre-existing holes, weak points, and making accurate measurements for the blocking materials.
  • Installing the material involves digging a 3-4 inch trench along the fence line and securing the chosen material along the fence line, ensuring it embeds into the ground and is well-packed with soil.
  • Regular maintenance, ongoing vigilance, regular checks for damage, effects of weather conditions, and potential changes in critter behavior is essential to ensure long-term effectiveness of the fence blockade.
  • For the best results, planning for potential alterations during different times of the year, especially when critter activity is high like during spring and summer, can work to keep the invaders at bay.

Securing the bottom of your fence is essential to prevent critters from entering your yard. The Humane Society of the United States provides strategies for extending wire meshing in an “L” shape at the base of the fence to deter digging animals. Long Fence discusses various fence options to keep different types of wildlife out of your yard, offering solutions that balance aesthetics and effectiveness. For DIY enthusiasts, YouTube showcases practical tutorials on how to reinforce fence bottoms, making it a valuable resource for homeowners looking to enhance their fences’ critter resistance.

Assessing the Problem

Your first step in blocking the bottom of a fence is understanding the extent of the problem. Walk the entire perimeter of your fence, note any gaps or areas where the fence doesn’t meet the ground consistently. You’ll want to remember these areas, as they’re the most likely routes for critters or pets to squeeze through and escape.

It’s not just about ensuring your furry friends stay in, but also about preventing unwanted guests from getting in. In some areas, it’s common to find wildlife like raccoons, skunks, and rabbits trying to sneak into your yard. They’re usually attracted by the smell of food, leftovers from your last barbeque, or even the flowers in your garden.

Consider the size of the potential intruders. If you’re dealing with tiny creatures that can squeeze through small spaces, you’ll need a narrower meshing or a tighter seal at the bottom of your fence. For larger animals, a stronger guard could help.

You also might want to think about the type of fence you have and the material it’s made of. Different materials may require different kinds of reinforcements. For instance, wooden fences might rot or warp over time, leaving you with gaps at the bottom. On the other hand, metal fences might rust and weaken, requiring a solid block or seal to reinforce them.

Take a good look at your fence, assess the problem areas and think about potential unwanted guests. Once you’ve cracked the problem, it’s time to get down to business and start gathering materials.

Remember, fixing even a small gap at the bottom of your fence can strengthen it significantly, ensuring your pets stay in and keeping those pesky critters out. So don’t skip this part – you’ll breathe easier knowing you’ve taken steps to secure your yard effectively. Let’s move on to the next step in this process.

Choosing the Right Materials

Transitioning off the importance of assessing your fence properties, it’s essential to pivot your attention towards choosing the right materials for blocking the bottom of the fence. Your selection impacts the effectiveness of your solution and, in turn, the safety of your property or pets.

First, think about the size and agility of the potential intruders. Small animals like rats or mice can squeeze through surprisingly tight spaces. For these critters, you’d need to opt for a fine mesh material. Steel wire meshes or hardware cloth are excellent selections; they provide both strength and a fine grid to keep the smallest pests out.

Conversely, larger nuisances like raccoons or possums may require sturdier materials to resist their determined efforts. Thick wooden planks, concrete blocks, or even reinforced metal sheets could prove more effective here. You have to balance practicality with aesthetics. You don’t want your lawn looking like a fortress unless that’s entirely your thing.

Let’s talk about using natural deterrents. Scent or taste-based repellents can dissuade animals from even trying to breach your garden fortress. You can integrate these features into your fence without compromising its look or managing any heavy construction.

The table below illustrates how the size and type of intruder align with the appropriate blocking materials.

Potential IntruderRecommended Material
Small (Rats, Mice)Fine Mesh Material (Steel wire mesh or hardware cloth)
Medium (Raccoons, Possums)Sturdy Material (Wooden planks, concrete blocks, metal sheets)
AllNatural Deterrents (Scent or taste-based repellents)

Remember that every situation is unique. So are your preferences and your yard’s needs. Therefore, it’s essential to do research before choosing the best material to block the bottom of the fence. In the following section, you’ll learn how to install these materials effectively to enhance your lawn’s protection.

Preparing the Area

The next essential step, before proceeding with the installation, is Preparing the Area. This is where you’ll lay the groundwork for an impenetrable barrier against unwanted critters.

First off, clear away any debris such as fallen leaves, sticks, or rocks along the bottom of your fence. You’ll want a clean slate to start adding your blocking materials. Fewer obstacles mean less struggle with positioning and attaching your chosen barrier.

Once you’ve cleared the ground, take some time to inspect your fence closely. Look out for pre-existing holes or gaps. These can be the main pathways for pests. If they’re large enough for a rodent or a similarly sized animal, mark these spots. You’ll need to pay extra attention to them during the installation.

Also, keep an eye out for areas with wear and tear that will pose an issue later. These weak points in your fence could hint at spots prone to future problems such as loosening or rolling up of your barrier.

Once you’ve deemed your fence and the surrounding area ready, it’s essential to make accurate measurements. Misjudging the size will only leave you with ill-fitting barriers that won’t serve their purpose well.

Most importantly, remember this little tidbit: critters can dig. Don’t neglect adjacent areas that could be digging zones for determined pests. If possible, prepare to install your extremely deterrent materials a few inches into the ground.

The preparation stage might seem a bit tedious but it’s an integral part of the process. Rushing through it or skipping it can lead to less effective results down the line.

Now that you’ve got your area prepared and measurements taken, you’re all set to proceed! The upcoming section will provide instructions on installing your chosen materials properly to secure your fence and protect your precious yard.

Blocking the Bottom of the Fence

You’ve completed your prep work, and now it’s time to implement your master plan to keep those tenacious critters from invading your yard. Installing deterrent materials and reinforcing your fence will be your primary line of defense.

First off, you’re going to dig a trench along the fence line. It should be roughly 3-4 inches wide and 3-4 inches deep. This ensures the material you install goes below the surface, countering the natural instinct of animals to dig their way under obstructions. Make sure to preserve the soil; you’ll need it to backfill the trench after placing your material.

There are a few excellent material options to choose from, but it primarily depends on your specific needs and critter type. These include:

  • Galvanized hardware cloth
  • Metal flashing
  • Roll of coated wire
  • Cinder blocks

Once your trench is dug and your material selected, install the material along the fence line. If you’re using hardware cloth or wire, secure it to the existing fence at multiple points using staple guns, zip ties, or wire clips. Ensure there is no slack in the material, as this could offer a potential entry point for animals.

Remember, the goal is to create both a visual and a physical deterrent. If you opt for heavier materials like concrete or cinder blocks, lay them end to end along the fence line. Make sure they embed into the ground; it adds to the solidity.

Throughout the exercise remember, your safety is paramount. Wear gloves to protect your hands and don’t forget your safety goggles.

Once everything is secured and in place, backfill your trench. Pack that soil tightly against your deterrent material, ensuring no gaps are left for critters to squeeze through.

Regularly inspect your newly fortified set up, and make adjustments wherever necessary. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of situation. Be vigilant, and your critter troubles will soon be a thing of the past.

Galvanized hardware clothGood for smaller creatures
Metal FlashingPerfect choice against burrowing animals
Coated WireAffordable and versatile
Cinder BlocksExcellent against larger, stronger critters

Maintenance Tips

After perfecting the art of blocking the bottom of your fence, maintaining it is your next crucial step. The fruits of your hard labor rest on this ongoing process. It’s not a one-off job; it’s about consistent vigilance and adjustments based on external elements. You’re playing a vital role against the ingress of unwanted creatures.

Please don’t overlook the impact of weather conditions. Salt-laden sea breeze, frosty chill, humid summers or torrential rains can take a toll on the structure. It’s crucial to check the fencing elements for damage or rust. Use a wire brush to scrape off any sign of corrosion from metals, especially for galvanized hardware cloth.

Remember too that critters may adapt to your defenses. They’re crafty and may find a way past obstacles you’ve put up. Ensure regular checks to identify if there are any signs of burrowing or gnawing. If you find any, take prompt action. Replenish the soil around the trench, fortify the base further, or even consider a different material if the current one isn’t working.

Rather than reacting, a proactive approach will serve you much better. On a seasonal basis, do a complete fence-line walk. Look out for any bending or cracking in the structure. Pay special attention to the corners and joints as these are often the primary entry points.

Also, check the fence’s stability. A shaky or unstable fence allows room for critters, compromising your hard work. If it doesn’t feel sturdy, perhaps it’s time to tighten the nuts and bolts or reposition the cinder blocks.

Lastly, plan for alterations during different times of the year. During spring and summer, when the critter activity is high, you may need to reinforce your fencing. Such an approach keeps you one step ahead of those pesky invaders.

The defense of your yard is your strategic game. Post-installation, your role becomes all the more crucial. The success of blocking the bottom of the fence hinges on your continuous care and watchful eye. Your garden is your fortress, guard it well. Whether it’s inspecting for damage, fixing the weak spots or choosing seasonal reinforcements, you’re the main player.


You’ve learned the importance of blocking the bottom of your fence and the ongoing commitment it requires. It’s not just about the initial fix but the constant vigilance needed to keep those critters at bay. Regular inspections, seasonal reinforcement, and strategic planning are your best allies. It’s your continuous care and attention that’ll keep your garden safe and thriving. Remember, your fence is more than a boundary – it’s a shield protecting your yard from unwanted invaders. So, keep an eye out for any signs of damage or intrusion. With your proactive approach, you’ll effectively maintain your fence and ensure your garden remains your peaceful sanctuary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is maintenance of the bottom of the fence important?

Maintaining the bottom of the fence is vital to keep critters out. Regular inspections are necessary as changes due to weather or adapting critters may breach your defenses. Damage, rust, signs of burrowing or gnawing, and fence stability should all be checked.

What is recommended for effective critter protection?

A proactive approach is recommended for critter protection. This includes regular checks for fence damage and adjustments for weather conditions and critter adaptations. Seasonal reinforcements and strategic planning are also key factors.

What role does the homeowner play in protecting their yard?

The homeowner’s continuous care and attention are essential in safeguarding their garden. Regular vigilance, checks for damage or signs of burrowing, and ensuring fence stability, along with timely repairs and reinforcements, help protect the yard from unwanted invaders.

Are there any specific seasons for carrying out fence reinforcement?

Reinforcements should be planned strategically and carried out seasonally. This will help address problems due to changing weather conditions – such as winter thaws and summer heat – which may affect the fence’s structure and its ability to keep critters out.

What should homeowners be vigilant about?

Homeowners should be vigilant about potential signs of critter intrusion such as burrowing, gnawing, or any unusual signs of wear and tear on the fence. Constant vigilance and quick action helps to nip problems in the bud.