A pest problem is one of the last things any homeowner wants to experience in their home, but the reality is that virtually every homeowner will contend with some type of pest problem at some time. According to data from Consumer Affairs, the most commonly cited pest problems for US homeowners include ants, spiders, mice, and termites. Homeowners in different regions are more susceptible to certain types of pest problems than others. The aforementioned pests are not the only animals that can wreak havoc on a home once they make their way inside an attic or roof crawlspace.
Every homeowner should know the following tips for identifying and controlling a pest infestation problem. Being proactive in protecting your home can result in tremendous savings over time while also protecting you and your family from the many health hazards pest infestations are known to cause.
Stay alert for signs of roof infestations
One of the most important steps every homeowner must take in protecting their homes from pests is to stay vigilant for signs of a pest invasion. Some pest problems can go unnoticed for quite a long time. For example, you may have an ant problem developing near your property but will not know about it until they have invaded your kitchen. Similarly, many other pests can take up residence inside your roof if you are not careful.
Visual signs of pests such as squirrels, mice, and birds can include damage to the exterior of your home, cracks in roof eaves and gables, missing roof shingles, and droppings left in your attic or crawlspace. It’s also possible to detect a pest problem by sound, including scratching, knocking, and other sounds that might indicate an unwanted guest in your attic. Finally, pay attention to any odd smells that you detect in the upper level of your house.
Winter is one of the most common times of the year for homeowners to encounter pest problems. Mice, squirrels, birds, and even larger animals like raccoons can try and invade a home to keep warm during colder weather. It’s wise to inspect your roof and your attic or crawlspace once the weather starts to turn colder.
Understand the health risks of pests
All types of pests, from insects to mice, birds, and raccoons, can be incredibly destructive and cause a host of health problems for you and your family. Animals carry many different diseases that can be disastrous for humans to contract. Their feces and urine can encourage mold growth and attract additional pests. Mammals and birds often carry fleas, ticks, and other insects that can eventually make their way deeper into a home.
If left unchecked, any pest infestation can escalate into a serious health hazard for everyone in your home. If you discover any significant pest infestation, it is always best to leave removal and cleanup to a professional pest control service and then consult an experienced roofer if you discover that a vulnerability in your roof allowed the pests inside.
Fix your roof to prevent more pest problems
While insects and mice typically invade a home at ground level, the roof is the next most vulnerable point of potential entry. Raccoons, squirrels, birds, and flying insects can easily enter a home when there is any type of physical vulnerability in the roof, such as:
- Damaged roof shingles. Small animals can easily squeeze into gaps created by missing or damaged shingles and chew their way through the roof decking below the shingles.
- Cracks in flashings around roof protrusions. These vulnerabilities are particularly problematic because they can also cause water damage to your home.
- Broken siding on roof gables. These sections of a roof can be particularly vulnerable if siding slats become damaged or dislodged.
- Damaged eaves. Most modern roofs have eaves with covered roof vents. This can potentially allow an animal to enter through gaps in the attic structures.
- Broken chimney structures. Using your fireplace regularly can deter pests from trying to enter your home through the chimney. If you have not used your chimney for an extended time, this structure could quickly become a vulnerability.
You might be surprised to see the very small entrances some animals can make to get into a home when looking for food or shelter from the cold. Some of these problems can be easy to miss, so consult a pest control expert if you are worried about pests invading your roof or attic. If you discover clear evidence of physical damage to your roof, contact a trustworthy roofer to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
The team at Able Roof has extensive experience handling all types of roof damage caused by pests. If you have recently had an exterminator remove a pest infestation from your attic, contact us to have any roof damage fixed quickly and efficiently to prevent further pest problems.