Keeping little bugs off the porch
We have an 18-by-18-foot screened deck on our house, but all summer we've had a problem with bugs — particularly mosquitoes — coming up through the spaces between the boards. Is there anything we can put over the decking to solve this problem?
Tom, Troutville, Virginia
Tom Silva replies: I hate mosquitoes, too — who doesn't? But rather than cover your decking, I think you ought to put your mosquito defense line where it won't show: around the perimeter of the deck. Staple a line of fiberglass screening between the ground and the underside of the decking — don't leave any gaps at the corners. Then install lattice panels to disguise the screen. If bugs can't get under the deck, they can't get under your skin. If your deck is too far off the ground to use lattice,
then you can staple the screening to the underside of the deck boards.
But because it will catch whatever falls between the gaps in the
decking, you'll have to go back periodically and remove the screen to clean it out.