But first, you need to know what you’re dealing with before you can deal with the damage they leave behind.
The Roof Pest Roster
The most common culprits that can invade your home and cause roof damage (as well as safety and health issues) include:
- Insects like ants, wasps, bees, and termites
- Critters like chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and (gulp!) roof rats
6 Common Roof Pests And The Damage They Can Cause
- Roof Rats & Mice – These roof pests don’t just give you the heebie-jeebies knowing they’re crawling around above you. They also chew through pretty much anything, including insulation, pipes, and electrical wires. This can be dangerous as it creates a fire hazard, and can kill rats or mice, leaving behind a dead animal odor — neither of which is exactly pleasant..
- Chipmunks & Squirrels – With the ability to gnaw through shingles and sheathing, these critters can create holes in your roof, leaving it susceptible to further damage from the elements. Plus, once they cozy up inside your attic, be prepared for some pretty smelly stuff! Between the pungent odor of their urine which can penetrate your ceiling and the possibility of a squirrel dying and decaying, you will definitely have to plug your nose to say the least!
- Birds – Though you may enjoy watching a variety of birds using baths or feeders in your yard when they decide to make your roof a home, things can get a lot less enjoyable. Bird droppings can eat away at roof shingles and sheathing, causing structural damage and leaks. They also like to build nests in gutters and vents which can lead to blockages, leaks, and water damage.
- Bees & Wasps – No one wants these roof pests around for obvious reasons, but they pose more than just a possibility of being stung. All it takes is a small hole in your roof to invite bees and wasps to come on in and build a nest. Hives ultimately cause larger holes, hollow sections of your roof, and even structural damage due to the nest’s weight. In addition, hives can block vents causing not only water clog issues, but also concerns regarding proper and safe airflow.
- Termites – Perhaps the most destructive roof pest there is, termites love to eat wood, including the all-you-can-eat buffet of your roof decking, trusses, and rafters! Their appetite can quickly destroy the structural integrity of your roof, and if left to eat ‘til their hearts’ content, you could end up having to replace your roof all together.
- Bats – Besides the fact that bats can carry rabies and transfer the disease to humans by bite, bat droppings can result in an even larger hazard. Bat waste (called guano) carries a microscopic fungus that can become airborne, and when inhaled, resulting in a lung infection which may be mild, but can also be deadly. Needless to say, if you have these particular roof pests, you need to eradicate the problem immediately.
What are Common Signs Roof Pests Have Arrived?
If you hear scurrying and scampering going on above you, it’s likely that chipmunks or squirrels, mice, or roof rats have invaded your home. You might also hear high-pitched sounds or even flapping wings which would indicate birds or bats have found their way in.
Other obvious signs you’re dealing with roof pests include nests, droppings, gnawed items, and dead insects or rodents.
How Can You Deal with these Common Roof Pests?
While in some circumstances an exterminator is necessary, there are a few things you can try without the risks to kids and pets that poison can pose.
- Strategically placed mothballs around your attic and other areas of your home can repel some roof pests. For instance mothballs are actually toxic to roof rats, as well as bats.
- Items with certain smells pests can’t stand can be used as repellents too, such as peppermint oil, ammonia, or hot pepper flakes.
- There are plug-in devices that keep critters away by emitting a high-pitched sound, unnoticeable to humans, but definitely noticeable to the sensitive ears of unwanted animal guests. There are also contraptions out there that can allow pests to exit but not reenter.
- You can also purchase traps or natural insecticides, or make a concoction of your own, such as a mixture of water, vinegar, peppermint oil, and dish soap which has been known to conquer wasp and bee problems.
- Installing bright lights can deter bats, and placing faux hives and homes away from yours can make roof pests think twice before deciding on their ultimate location.
There are a number of ways to get rid of roof pests, depending on the type of pest and the severity of your infestation. If you’re unsure what to do to remove the birds, bats, or rodents in your roof, it’s always a good idea to call a professional who can list all of the options available to you.
What Attracts Roof Pests to Your Home?
The best way to keep roof pests out is to know what attracts them in the first place, and do your best to make your home inhospitable for them.
The biggest attraction to any roof pest is an older roof, especially one that’s worn or in need of repair. This is like a beacon for roof pests to come and stay for a while! Insects and animals looking for a safe place to hang out or protect themselves from the elements love to make their way into your home and set up camp in your attic by way of cracks and holes in your roof.
They can get in by chewing through damaged or rotting shingles and wood, causing even more destruction in their wake, and making your roof even more vulnerable for future damage (not to mention future unwanted guests!).
The best way to avoid roof pests from taking a liking to your roof and home is to ensure you perform regular roof inspections and fix any issues quickly. Staying on top of roof maintenance will allow you to discover possible problem areas and repair them before roof pests discover them too.
4 Ways to Make Roof Pests Feel Unwelcome
Besides regular roof care, there are a few things you can do to make your house less inviting to birds, bats, and other rodents:
- Keep trees and other foliage near your home trimmed. This will help avoid creating shady areas on your roof that promote moss and mold — a roof pest’s idea of a welcome mat.
- Make sure you clean your roof regularly to wash away bird droppings and nest-worthy debris.
- Reduce your home’s temptations by keeping your yard and garage clean and storing seed and fertilizer in tightly-sealed containers.
- Enlist in the help of a roofing company for a thorough inspection.
Have Roof Damage from Pests? Werner Roofing Can Help You Deal
Have your unwanted roof guests caused damage to your home’s roof? Give Werner Roofing a call. We’re happy to assess the damage free of charge and make recommendations for how to repair it quickly and efficiently. In the war against roof pests, we always win!
OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION
How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.”