Proper Maintenance


The best advice is to make it as difficult as possible for pests to get in- just as you would for any intruder trying to gain access to your home. Whenever vermin have managed to get into the roof, poor maintenance is usually to blame. If a thatch is kept in good repair, and inspected regularly, pests are rarely a problem.

Cover the roof with wire netting to prevent pests from gaining entry. Chicken mesh wiring can be laid over a thatched roof so that no critters can get at it and it will also deter nesting birds.

Chicken Wire on thatched roof

Get regular maintenance on your roof as poorly fitted or old netting that has rusted can have holes in it and Rats, Pine Martens and Mice will use this as a method of access.  Make sure you dispose of waste food in sealed bins and don’t leave any food out for the wildlife that may attract vermin.

Keep bird feeders far away from the thatch as these can attract vermin.  Ensure that your water tank is well covered. If the rodents do not have a water supply, their lodgings will not be so appealing, this will also ensure no pests fall into your water tank.

A roof thatched in water reed is too well bound and heavy for the birds to pull it out but, they can damage a straw ridge.  If damage appears on the ridge it must be fixed promptly.  Chicken mesh wiring can be laid over the roof so that no critters can get at it.  When done properly, such wiring does not overly affect the look of your thatched roof.

If birds are pulling out the straw, you need to figure out why?  Is it for nests or are they trying to get at insects/flies within the straw?  When you know why, you can they take the proper preventative steps.

Birds like making nests in chimneys and this can be a problem, especially if a chimney which has been used in the winter but not in the summer. Invest in a cap for the chimney but if you do not have one, always check the chimney or get it swept especially at nesting time if it has not be swept for a while.