Jacksonville roofers and roofing companies around Florida are called upon to inspect roofs and repair damages from pests all the time. There are many animals, insects, etc. that find roofs an appealing place to live or nest. Over time, this can cause a lot of damage to the outside and inside of a roof. There are steps homeowners can take to prevent critters from settling in. These preventative measures are not only crucial for the health of the roof, but also the health of the homeowner.

The Usual Suspects

There are a multitude of pests that can call your roof home. Some cause more damage than others. Roofers in Jacksonville tend to find these critters the most: 

  • Rodents: Mice, rats, squirrels 
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Cats
  • Foxes
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Snakes
  • Insects: Bees, wasps, ants, termites, beetles 

Rodents can cause a lot of damage to the inside of your roof/attic space. Mice, rats and squirrels will chew on the wood, walls and wires in the roof, which can lead to electrical issues, fire danger and water damage issues from leaks. These rodents are also a health hazard.

Raccoons tend to cause a lot of outside and inside roof damage. They tear off shingles and tiles, creating holes in the roof to get in. Many raccoons do this when it’s time to give birth. “Females in search of nesting sites may rip off shingles, fascia boards, or rooftop ventilators to get into the attic. Once inside the attic, insulation on walls may be torn up and displaced; and insulation on heating and air conditioning ducts may be ripped off and destroyed,” the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program said. Opossums, cats and foxes cause similar damage. These animals also will urinate and defecate in the roof space they’re occupying.  

Birds will nest in the open spaces under a roof, which doesn’t cause too many issues. However, sometimes the birds will nest in gutters and in front of vents. This can cause leak damage. 

Bats, similarly to birds, will reside in the open spaces around the roof. If there is a space where the bats can get into the roof, they will many times move in. Bats may cause damage to shingles and tiles. Also, bat guano is a health hazard and can cause issues inside your roof/attic space. The CDC says: “Histoplasmosis is caused by Histoplasma, a fungus that lives in the soil, particularly where there’s a large amount of bird or bat poop. The infection ranges from mild to life-threatening.” Bats also carry rabies. There was a rabies case contracted from a bat diagnosed in 2019 in Jacksonville, according to Action News Jax

Keep in mind — many bat colonies are protected. Make sure you look up the laws around bats in your area before removal. In Florida, bats are protected during their mating season, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Snakes can get into open spaces in your roof and get into your house. These spaces can lead to leaks. 

Insects like bees and wasps will build nests in crevices near and on the roof. Many times these hives will block vents and aqueducts causing issues. Blocking certain areas can cause water condensation build-up and possible problems with carbon monoxide. 

Termites cause the most damage. “No insect can cause as much structural damage to your roof’s timber as the termite. If unattended to, a termite-infested roof will ultimately require being replaced altogether as rafters, trusses, the decking will end up getting completely damaged.” Legacy Pest Control said. 

Roof Damage Prevention?

The best way to prevent pests from damaging your roof is to keep your roof clean and have it inspected regularly. Keep your roof clear of debris. Dirt, leaves, pine straw, dust build-up, can attract animals and insects to your roof. Repair any holes or spaces to prevent animals or insects from getting inside the roof.

Also, repair loose or missing shingles and any broken tiles to prevent animals from getting underneath them. Cache Roofing in Jacksonville has a program that can help you. Cache Roofing’s worry-free roof program can help with prevention, plus catch any problem areas early. The program includes monthly inspections and cleaning for your roof.