Dealing with Thatch Pests


Mice and rats can often invade a thatched roof.  Cats are a good deterrent as rats and mice will usually stay away from a house where they can detect even the slightest feline scent.

Poison is one way of dealing with rodents such as rats, but it is advisable to hire a professional rather than try to deal with the problem yourself.

A sonic ultrasound unit that emits a high-pitched noise may also work, these can be bought in most hardware stores. They are inaudible to the human ear, but are unbearable for rodents. They are environmentally friendly and require no maintenance other than a change of battery every six months.

For larger rodents such as Pine Marten’s a device called Pest Stop, from Amazon can be very effective.  Pine Marten’s also hate mothballs (only the ones that smell of camphor) so placing large amounts within your attic should soon persuade them to move out.  Pine Marten’s don’t like noise, so try leaving a radio on full blast in your attic to see if this will shift them.  The Pine Marten is a rare and protected spices within Ireland and it is illegal to kill them.  If you cannot persuade your Pine Marten to move on through the above methods you should contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) through their website for advice.

For birds, dummy birds of prey and bird of prey calls can be purchased in most local hardware stores, but they will require occasional moving to reduce the pests being accustomed to their presence.

For insect, it is advisable to call in a specialist to deal with insect pests such as wasps, hornets flies and honeybees. Honey bee nests should never bee destroyed but carefully relocated to help protect our local bees.

Dealing with Bats


During winter, bats may look to hibernate under the eve of a roof or in your attic. Most house owners never discover bats in their houses until they need to carry out work on their attic. This is because bats rarely cause problems in houses.

Bats do not build nests and when bats are roosting in a building it just hangs upside down. Bats’ only feed on insects (especially midgets) and they are neither able to gnaw or chew through woodwork or cables.

If bats are regularly found flying around a dwelling it may be that there is a crevice where pipes or wires come down from the attic and bats are getting in that way. Bats only need a gap of 1.5x2cm to squeeze through. When the bats are not present in the attic stuffing up the hole should fix the problem.

Bats are protected by law in the Republic of Ireland under the Wildlife Act 1976 and it is an offense to intentionally disturb, injure or kill a bat or disturb its resting place. This does not mean, for example, that essential roof repairs cannot be carried out because bats are present in an attic. In general, it would mean that roof repair works should be carried out outside the active season for bats while they are not present. Contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service for advice.

Ensure you have a regular inspection and maintenance program. Pests of any description are rarely found in a well maintained, closely netted thatch.