How do I stop Pests nesting in my roof?


Prevention in the first place is the best option and providing a thatch roof is kept in a good state of repair and the necessary prevention measures are taken, pests rarely pose a problem.

Identifying problems sooner rather than later will help prevent wildlife moving into your beautiful thatched roof and becoming your new neighbours.

Inspecting the roof every week or so will enable you to spot any unwanted intruders early and this will prevent extensive damage. Look for holes or clumps sticking out as this is a good indication that animals or birds may be nesting in the thatch. Rats and pine martins make obvious runs and their holes can be easily spotted.

Vermin such as rats and pine martins should be removed as soon as possible as they can quickly devastate a roof. It is important to understand how they got into the thatch in the first place so they can be prevented in the future.

Pine martens taking up residence in thatched roofs is unusual, but not unheard of, especially in buildings in remote areas, close to forestry or buildings that are unoccupied for lengthy periods.

They are generally shy creatures that tend to avoid human activity. A pine marten may well move on of its own accord if the house becomes lived in again. If not I’d contact your local National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger for advice as they will be able to offer guidance on the best approach to relocate the family of pine martens.

So, how did they get into my thatch?

Rats and mice can also gain access to your house from wall spaces, via attics etc. Check doors, and any gaps where service pipes enter the walls etc.

Keep overhanging trees are kept cut back. Critters can use these branches to gain access to the roof. Also, branches rubbing off the thatch can cause damage to the netting or thatch, which can then be used as an access point for pests.

Rodents won’t go into properly set water reed because there’s nothing in there to interest them but they are attracted to holes, so regular maintenance is advisable.

You should always seek the advice from a professional Thatcher if you spot any problems or damage to the thatch.

Never climb onto the roof or put ladders directly on the thatch as this can cause more damage to the thatched roof.

Common Pests