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Remove A Roofline Nest
When you find a roofline nest it may not be one made by birds. Other creatures, given the chance, may take up residence too.
Some creatures you can take action to get rid of, others are protected species. For example, legally, you cannot disturb bird nests if they contain eggs or young and it is a criminal offence to kill bats.
Before attempting to remove a roofline nest you need to be aware of your legal standing to avoid getting into trouble.So, the first thing you need to do is discover what has set up a roofline nest in your property.
Signs of A Bird’s Current Roofline Nest
Apart from not disturbing a bird, you want to be sure there isn’t one ‘in residence’ because if you attempt to lift a tile and there is a nest is underneath you will startle the bird and that, in turn, will startle you. Imagine the consequences if this happens when you are balancing on a ladder!
A very effective way to find out if a bird’s nest is active is to wait and watch. Look to see whether a bird goes under your tiles with anything in its beak. You might think you need good eyesight to spot them but it is actually very obvious as they will be bringing in long pieces of debris for the nest or food that is just a little smaller.
So, instead of getting a ladder out, get a chair instead – make a drink and spend around half an hour outside. I doubt you will have to keep watch for any longer than that. Birds are very active, especially in the mornings.
In some cases, depending on the bird species (usually swifts), they will ‘dive bomb’ anyone that comes near their roofline nest. This can make the simplest roofline repairs very dangerous work.
Fitting a bird comb or installing a replacement uPVC roofline will prevent this problem in future years. Bird comb is easily sourced through your local stockist. It is cheap, effective and easy to fit.
Of course, it is not just birds that can find a way into your roofline. Other vermin, such as mice, rats, hornets and wasps can be a problem too.
Vermin Roofline Nests
Many people think of rats,mice and squirrels as vermin that need to be removed. Rats and mice get into the eaves of a roofline by climbing the downpipes, whereas squirrels can climb sheer walls. They can squeeze through the smallest of holes.
A sure sign of these animals are droppings in your gutters and on top of the felt under your tiles, which can be seen once the tiles are removed. You may see signs of mice or squirrels in your attic: timber joist gnawed through or shredded insulation in the attic. Rats leave even more debris inside and can be a very nasty surprise once found. In some situations you may be able to hear these rodents scurrying around your loft.
If you need advice on how to get rid of these vermin so you can clear the roofline nests, take a look at the government advice on ‘Getting Rid of Mice & Rats’ (opens in new browser window).
Some local councils offer free pest control services or can put you in touch with a local pest controller.
Insect Roofline Nests
If you are very unlucky you may have a wasp or hornet roofline nest.
Wasps – wasp’s nests are very common in the spring and summer. They will try to get access to the eaves even whilst any work is being done. They make their own nests from chewed up wood which can vary from fence panels to the wood in your roofline. You can get powders to put at the entrance to the wasp’s nest (this is where they get into the roof from the outside, not the nest itself). Wasps are usually dormant at night and can be killed off without the need of a pest controller.
It may be wiser to get a professional pest controller in to remove the wasp’s nest, especially if you are likely to react adversely to a wasp sting. But, if you want to do the job yourself take a look at:
Hornets – The worst to come across. The difference between these and wasps will be instantly apparent as to the size and colour. Normally we can tell the size of a queen wasp but a hornet is a little bigger and they have more red in their colour. Hopefully they will not get too close for you to tell the colour but under no circumstances attempt to remove with sprays or powder. This is a job for a professional pest controller and can be removed at a low cost compared to what problems they will cause.
Bees – bees are unlike wasps in the fact that they generally ‘walk’ from the entrance hole. Wasps will have a nest very close to where they get into the roof but bees can be up to 2 metres further inside. Normally honey bees are protected but if you have a quick word with your local pest controller they will let you know. I usually just wait for honey bees to leave as it is not worth disturbing the nest. In the unlikely event that a nest is unknowingly disturbed then a small hole left in the fascias can easily be capped at a later date.
If you come across roofline nests for any of these creatures and want to get professional help removing them, this company has a good reputation in the Norwich area: Stop Pest (opens in new browser window).
Bats in The Belfry!
(sorry, I couldn’t resist that title!)
All species of bat are endangered and protected by law…. and they can get into your roof through the smallest of holes.
However, finding bats roosting in your roofline is not a huge problem. They feed on insects so could be an asset to you keeping pesky insects at bay during the summer months. They do not nibble wood, wiring or insulation material and their droppings crumble to dust.
Remember, it is a criminal offence to intentionally kill a bat or block the hole or entrance to where it roosts. Legally removing bats can be a long process, but whilst in residence they are unlikely to create much disturbance, if any.
You can discover more about living with bats (opens in new browser window) on the bats.org.uk website or call them on 0845 1300 228 for advice.
The easiest way to avoid problems with roofline nests, and keep your house looking smart with no roofline repairs needed for at least 20 years, is to have a replacement uPVC roofline fitted.