Have you ever found yourself sitting bolt upright in bed at three in the morning after hearing strange noises in your roof? Scratching, thumping, and squeaking—you’re probably not imagining these things and they likely mean one thing: critters.
Noises in the attic or your roof can often be an indication that rodents or other wildlife may be living in your roof. These include birds, bats, possums, squirrels, rats and mice.
The Problem with Pests in Your Roof
While it’s great that Australia is teeming with amazing wildlife, in some cases, this becomes a homeowner’s problem. Animals often gain access to our homes by finding entry points in the roofing materials, eaves, and soffits. Rats, in particular, can fit through holes the size of a quarter and they can easily chew and claw their way in.
Aside from causing structural damage, these critters can also:
- Create fire hazards by gnawing through electrical wires.
- Track in bacteria, viruses, and diseases.
- Leave a foul odour. Rats, for instance, have a distinct ammonia smell.
- Breed within your property, causing infestations.
- Attract and spread other pests, including fleas and mites, which may also carry diseases.
- Damage furniture, clothes, plants, and other objects.
- Die in your attic or walls, resulting in a stench that can be difficult to identify and remove.
- Leave droppings, urine, and other excrements that can contaminate food, water, and food preparation areas.
Signs of Pest Presence in Your Roof
Although noises are a good indication, you would want to be sure that it’s actually critters in your roof that you’re dealing with. Below are some signs to keep an eye out on:
- Droppings or urine
- Signs of nesting (e.g. paper, leaves, and twigs)
- Damaged insulation
- Disturbed ducts
- Sounds—the gnawing and squeaking of rats, the scampering noises of squirrels and rodents, and the purrs, whimpers, hisses, snarls, and growls of raccoons.
You would hear these noises mainly at night. But, that doesn’t mean that pests only come to your roof before bedtime. Squirrels, for instance, are active during the day. It’s just that you’re quite often not at home during the day to hear them. Plus, it’s often at night when your house goes pretty quiet, so they might be the only sound you’d hear during the wee hours.
How to Keep Critters Off Your Roof
These critters come into your home mainly for three reasons: food, water, and shelter. But, to get rid of them, you must first address what allows them to enter your premises in the first place.
In most cases, a qualified pest control technician is required to handle and remove pests from your property as there are regulations in place that protect the wildlife. For example, under the Wildlife Act 1975, possums must not be harmed in any way or kept without approval from authorities.
Additionally, you will want to work with a roofing specialist to inspect for any roof damage that attracts critters and offer advice on how you can keep your property as unattractive as possible to them. As a conclusion, below are some steps you can take to help you get started in pest-proofing your home.
- Work with a pest control specialist to remove all animals, including nesting babies, in your roof.
- Hire a roofing specialist to inspect your home for damaged roofing, rotting wood, holes, and any other weak spots that can provide access to pests.
- Block off all possible points of entry.
- Trim overhanging tree branches
- Install squirrel guards and set up baits and traps for other pests.
- Clean out your gutters and make sure they’re free of nests.
A roof restoration Sydney expert can fix damaged roofing, replace broken shingles, and seal holes, which are necessary to keep pests from entering and catch issues before they get worse. After these repairs, make sure that you start on these preventive measures to save you from the stress of dealing with critters on your roof!
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