By Amy DeYoung
Updated Nov 30, 2022
Roofs are important for protecting you and your family from the wind, preventing water damage, and keeping pests from entering your home. If your roof is compromised, this can quickly lead to significant issues, so you must be aware of what pests can damage your roof so you can address them immediately.
To help, we’re sharing what pests can damage your roof so that you know about common signs of damage and can quickly catch problems.
Wood-destroying insects, like termites, carpenter ants, and even certain types of bees, like carpenter bees and honeybees, can cause immense amounts of damage to your home, especially your roof.
Termites and other wood-destroying insects invade areas with rotted wood, mold, mildew, or dry-rotted spots. These pests will create colonies nearby or within the wood, then continue to expand their colonies, creating an infestation. A termite infestation can make your roof vulnerable to collapse. These pests can chew through insulation, which decreases your home’s energy efficiency by causing energy leaks and forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to keep it comfortable.
If wood-destroying insects aren’t treated, they can cause significant structural damage to your home’s roof by creating punctures and holes, exposing the underlying wood to moisture and wood rot.
Bats commonly roost in attics and will happily use your attic as their personal cave. Bats only require a half-inch gap in your roofing materials to squeeze into your attic. They often find these gaps near the edges of rooflines, then crawl into the cracks to hide within your home’s structure.
Brown bats tend to stay in the same place year-round and are usually protected by state laws. If you notice bats or bat droppings, immediately call an exterminator to go over your pest control options and a roofing contractor to have repairs to your roof made and any gaps filled in.
Cluster flies live throughout the United States, except for states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. These flies are given their unique name for their habit of forming into tight clusters within attics and wall voids. These insects tend to be the biggest problem during the fall when they prepare for hibernation and in the spring when they try to leave the attic and roof.
Mice and rats can damage many areas of your home, especially your roof. Certain species of roof pests, like roof rats and house mice, are especially dangerous.
House mice commonly invade attics and chew insulation, packing supplies, and other parts of your roof. These materials are perfect for nesting materials, making them highly attractive to house mice.
Roof rats prefer to live in the top parts of buildings, such as attics and on the roofs. Like house mice, roof rats are fantastic climbers and can squeeze through incredibly tight areas, giving them access to the roof and attic. Many of these kinds of pests will also access your home and roof through gutters, which is why gutter guards are just one preventative step you can take to protect yourself from this pest infestation.
Unfortunately, rodents are among the worst pest infestations you can have in your home. For starters, they breed incredibly quickly and typically have babies that live and scurry around on your roof and in your walls. They can also cause significant fire hazards if they chew through the wiring in your attic and walls. If you notice chewed wires, droppings, missing shingles, or scratches on your attic walls or floor, immediately contact a professional exterminator to have your home assessed.
While most of us think about squirrels on trees, squirrels are also a considerable pest control concern for homeowners. Squirrels are incredible climbers who look for shelter when the temperature drops. As a result, your roof, attic, and the attic’s insulation are tempting areas for squirrels to overwinter.
Unfortunately, squirrels will tear up your insulation, destroy wiring, and cause significant damage in their wake if they enter your home.
Some species of birds will nest on your roof and leave disgusting bird droppings, posing a health hazard to you and your family. Bird droppings are usually acidic. If left on your roof or in your attic, they can spread illness, cause roof damage, stains, and odor.
Often, birds will access roofing materials via damaged fascia boards, which is just one more reason that regular roof maintenance is a crucial step to effective pest prevention.
Raccoons are among the craftiest and most persistent critters. They’re strong climbers, giving them a lot of leverage to access your roof and attic. If you have exposed or poorly screened eave gaps or vents, raccoons may find their way through your roofing materials. Most often, raccoons are looking for garbage or other food sources, so consider moving or protecting any trash cans you have near your home to discourage these critters.
Nobody wants to deal with pests running around and causing health hazards and expensive damage. Prevention is your best bet in protecting against these common pests, so take time to do a home audit regularly. Look for ways to install preventative items, like gutter guards or bird spikes, and repair holes or damage immediately to prevent pests from breaking into your home.
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