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What to Do about Animal or Insect Infestation in Roof Spaces

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.


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