I have pests in my roof – what do I do?

Ever hear that unsettling sound of something moving around in the attic above you? It could be nothing, but then again it is possible that animals have managed to squeeze in and either become trapped or built their home in your warm roof or attic space, particularly if it’s cold and wet outside.

While some pests or trapped animals can be removed relatively easily, others can be harder to find and evict, and for others still it is illegal to harm or kill them. What can you do? Our focus this month is on the types of animals that can find their way into your roof, how they can get in there, and what you can do to reclaim your home.


Rodents include mice, rats, and squirrels. None of them are strangers to our homes and gardens but neither are they welcome in our attics and roofs as they can build their nests and multiply quite quickly. Rats, in particular, can carry diseases, so it is vital to have them removed as soon as possible.

You can tell the difference between them by the type of noises you hear. Squirrels are more likely to be heard moving around in the early morning and evening and are noisier; they run frantically and often scratch and chew as well. Mice will make a lighter scratching or nibbling sound, while rats, although louder gnawers, are also more likely to be scurrying around more.

Rodents can squeeze in through gaps in the roof. They gain easy access through any cracks or gaps between the wall and roof. Being climbers, they can clamber up trees or poles to find their way into a warmer space during the winter months, so keep an eye out for cracks and get them repaired as soon as possible.

Call in the specialists to remove squirrels as it is illegal to injure or kill them. While you can lay down poison and traps for mice and rats, specialists are a better option for rats so that they can be dealt with more quickly.


A trapped bird will be frantically trying to find its way out – it’s an unmistakeable sound. It will also be calling out more. Birds often build their nests under eaves as it is warm, dry, and safe. This shouldn’t cause any problems if your roof is well sealed. If it isn’t then they can find their way in, either to build their nest or accidentally.

You can remove birds quite easily by just laying down some food and water in a cage and letting them go in to get it. Once in, you can take the cage out and release the bird. It is also illegal to injure or kill birds and if you find a nest you must not touch it or its contents until the young have flown away.

Wasps and bees

If you hear buzzing and humming, you may have a bee or wasp nest in your attic or roof. They will have flown in through the tiniest of cracks in the roof, areas that are not well sealed, and even gaps in the tiles.

Don’t attempt to remove it – in fact stay clear – and get the professionals in to remove it safely.

Keeping pests out

The key to keeping pests out of your attic and roof is to take away any opportunity for them to find their way in in the first place. Check your roof regularly for cracks or holes that they can use to burrow in through and if you find any, they need to be sealed as soon as possible. Also look out for any tiles that may be starting to lift or lead flashing that may be warped as animals and insects can exploit the tiniest of opportunities to find a warm home.

For help inspecting your roof or for any maintenance that you may need done get our Roof Rescue experts to help. Call us on 020 3189 1618 and we will make sure your roof is well sealed from the elements and any pests looking for a new home.

Share this post

Roof Rescue Ltd - Checkatrade