7 Signs of Pests in Thatched Roofs

Why an Article on Identifying Signs of Pests in Thatched Roofs

Enquiries on pests in thatched roofs seem to be on the increase, so we thought a bit of information on the different signs that you have “visitors” would be helpful.  Then you can identify what they are.  This article covers just some, there are others…..

1     Noises in the Attic

From mice to rats or even a squirrel, scurrying sounds or footsteps can often be heard in an attic.  It’s is a sign that you have visitors!  Keeping traps etc in the loft is advised.  Be  aware that even little birds can be heard walking about!

2     Long Straws Pulled Out and Left on the Roof

Birds, e.g. Jackdaws, can be problematic and the damage they can do in pulling out thatch can vary from holes to very messy roofs.  Various ways to deter them and change the bad habits can be employed, none of which are 100% sadly.

3     Short Straws Pushed Out in Clumps with Holes

This is a sign of rats in a thatched roof, which can be a big problem if not dealt with.  Don’t get the thatch fixed until these pests in the thatch are definitely gone.  Keep traps and bait in the attic.

4     Straws Hanging Down Singly Along Ridge or Eave

These are often a sign of mice in the roof.  They are hard to get out see (noises in attic above).

5     Shallow Holes in the Roof and Moss

This is regularly seen as a sign of birds searching for insects in the roof and under the moss.  A good clean down of the roof or a rethatch can help change this behaviour – which obviously depends on the age and condition of the roof.

6     Lots of insects about

7     Birds sat on open chimneys

Another pest can be a bird sat on an open chimney with nest material or food in their mouths.   You don’t want a birds nest in a working chimney due to the fire risk.

Make sure there is a bird guard on your chimney as a first line of defence.

And Finally

Pests in thatched roofs are primarily there due to either food or the roof being good lodgings.    Stopping them once they have arrived or got in the habit of using the roof for food or nesting materials etc can be hard.  Many options on deterrents may work for some but not for others.

You may have to try various ways to deal with these pests to find something which works but understanding these 7 signs will at least alert you to their presence so that timely intervention can commence.

Pictures here are from our clients and visitors who have given permission for these helpful images to be used.

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