Managing Roof Pests

by Rachel Laurendeau on September 13, 2012

Keeping pests away from your roof is one of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your roofing materials. Some pests, like wasps, pose threats to residents while others, like raccoons, are likely to cause damage to your property and the deterioration of your roof.

Insects – the winged variety, such as wasps, bees and hornets, are typically looking for a dry place to build their nests along roof lines or inside the roof. Once their numbers grow, they can swarm and attack, making them particularly undesirable. Other insects, such as termites or ants, may be looking for their next meal, causing damage to the home’s structure.

Birds – bird droppings are acidic and corrosive and can cause deterioration of shingles and shakes. When birds are hunting around the rooftop for insects, their beaks can damage the surface and create gaps and holes. As well, if they nest on your roof they will leave behind dirt, leaves and building materials that can lead to mildew, rot and more extensive damage.

Rodents – teeth and claws are the culprits here, particularly when it comes to destruction of shakes or shingles. The damage done by squirrels, raccoons, possums and others as they try to gain access into your attic for a warm, dry place to nest can lead to large gaps or holes in the roofing material, making it even more inviting to insects and allowing water seepage in your home.

Over the long term, it is possible for these unwanted visitors to cause serious damage to your roof. But what can you do to control or manage roof pests?
Prune back trees away from the roof line so that they do not give rodents easy access.
• Keep bird feeders well away from your roof to cut down the number of birds and rodents that are attracted to the area.
• Install a hawk or owl silhouette on your roof. As simple as this sounds, if animals think there is a predator nearby, they are unlikely to frequent the area or nest there.
• Visually inspect your roof on a regular basis and remove debris before it attracts other pests or begins to rot. Also, by keeping an eye on your roof, you will spot insect nests when they are small and easy to remove/spray rather than finding one when they have reached massive proportions.
• Talk to your local animal control office. They will likely have tips that work particularly well for pests in your area.
• If you have done your best or if the problem is advanced, call in the pros. You may need to call in an exterminator to get rid of the problem and then, if there has been any damage to the structure, talk to a roofing contractor about repairs.

The best line of defense when trying to manage roof pests is to take preventative action before a problem arises and to keep your roof free of debris and in good condition.

Resources: BuildDirect and RoofRocket

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