What to Do about Animal or Insect Infestation in Roof Spaces

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Animals or insects like to find a safe haven in the attic or roof spaces of a home—and these unwanted visitors can wreak havoc for homeowners. That is when they will likely call on a contractor to help fix the problems caused by infestation.

The first step is to know the typical points of entry so it’s easy to find the trouble spots:

  • Gaps or missing pieces of fascia or soffit
  • Openings in exterior cladding or siding
  • Open or ajar gable vents or windows
  • Openings at the ridge or ridge vent
  • Open or uncapped chimneys

These areas and any other openings in a home’s exterior shell should be properly sealed to prevent animals and insects from migrating into a home. For example, if the top of the chimney is open, this may allow birds to escape the elements by nesting in the flue. Installing a chimney cap is a good way to prevent them from moving in. Other types of animals and insects to look out for include bees, bats, squirrels, raccoons, mice, and rats. Each of these unwanted pests could cause serious problems, including damage to the roof, attic structure, and electrical wiring, the spreading of disease, and the added risk of fire. (See this video from Istueta Roofing on their encounter with bats under a tile roof).

Contractors should ask the homeowner if they’ve noticed any of these common signs of infestation:

  • Scurrying and scratching sounds
  • Signs of gnawing on wood and electrical cables
  • Signs of animal or bird droppings
  • Signs of urination
  • Smells
  • Hives or nests present

Here are some tips contractors can share with homeowners to make sure their home is critter-free:

  • Inspect the exterior of the home to make sure any openings or gaps in the exterior cladding or siding are sealed
  • Make sure all areas of the fascia and soffit are tight and sealed with no gaps or openings
  • Make sure the chimney flue is capped or closed off when not in use
  • Take note of any new or odd animal behavior in your yard, like squirrels traveling across the roof or electrical wires
  • Trim trees and surrounding foliage to prevent easy access to the roof
  • Perform regular inspections of the attic areas

Spring is a good time for contractors to reach out to homeowners about infestation and maintenance after a long, cold winter.

There are 4 comments

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  1. Joe Felegi

    Getting any type of animal out of an attic can be extremely hard if you are new to doing so. These are all great tips. Be sure to fix all damages the pest caused or they could be back soon.

  2. greg

    Great article, i’ve doubt you’ve ever heard a story like this before. I’m a roofer in memphis,tn, we have our fair share of roof pest. I should know, i was a pest inspector with 3 different companies here. Well, i was fortunate enough to make a career change which coincidentally was because one of my handyman friends was doing a carpenter job and was being attacked by carpenter bees. He called me, he thought they were bumble bees, look similar, except carpenter bees eas through the wood fascia boards especially. Any way, i came to his rescue, let him know, although the male carpenter bees are brave and will run into you. They don’t have any stingers. Only the female, guess ,we know who wears the pants in the family. We’ll he was greatly relieved and the home owner decided to buy a termite job and carpenter bee treatment, of which ,neither one he had ever had on an 14 yr old house. I recommend at least the termite treatment, and no I don’t do that anymore. Any way ,next he showed me his new roof and then pointed to his 4 neighbors in collierville, tn. Don’t even remember the street. That all5 of them were getting new roofs due to storm damage. I quickly calculated 5 x 12,000 average job = 60,000 dollars to one guy. Took me 2 minutes to realize i was in the wrong business and my boss was an absolute jerk. I knew nothing about roofing, but everything about selling and i knew how to find good subs. I went there, got a job, became top salesmen out of 16 in 3 months and 6 months later , I had my own roofing company. So ,if your thinking about getting into the business, it is good, but only if you believe in yourself, know how to push yourself and sell, and have common sense and know how to delegate, o good luck on the critters.

  3. MattS

    Great article. We have been roofing Rochester NY for over 35 years and I can’t tell you the amount of damage we have seen that could have been avoided by following the tips you have provided homeowners

  4. Ed

    These are all good tips. We once had a bird get into our basement, and it was traumatic for all concerned. Aside from the nuisance factor of having an outdoor critter inside your home, there’s also the safety of the animal to think of. Animals who find themselves in a house or other unfamiliar place can panic and injure themselves, or get hurt in the removal process. Following these tips can save your home, and possibly save an innocent creature too.

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