Raccoons and Possums and Squirrels, Oh My! 7 Tips to Keep Animals Off Your Roof

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated April 20, 2022
A squirrel on a roof
Photo: FluidMediaFactory / iStock / Getty Images

Avoid feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof with these animal control tips

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Animals on top of your rooftop can be a nightmare. They can chew through wood, find their way into your attic, cause leaks, leave messes, and even spread disease through their feces and urine. It's challenging to keep them all away, but here are seven tips to keep your roof free of pests. 

1. Use Animal Repellent

You can find a lot of animal repellents sold online. They often come in spray bottles and are made of or mimic substances such as pepper, tarragon, garlic, essential oils, and other things that animals find distasteful. Sometimes, repellents contain the urine of predators, which will promote a fear response in the rooftop pest.

2. Trim Your Trees and Vegetation

Trees are essentially ladders for animals, so if you've got them near your home with branches extending toward your roof, that's an all-access pass for critters. Keep your trees trimmed so it's not so easy to simply scurry up the tree, down a branch, and hop onto your roof. Doing so can prevent squirrels from invading your home. Overgrown vegetation can also attract animals, so keep that trimmed as well.

3. Don't Neglect Roof Maintenance

By constantly monitoring and maintaining your roof, you can spot the signs of animals on your roof early and take the necessary steps to handle the issue before it becomes a major problem. Check for dislodged shingles, cracks, new holes, boards that have been pried open, and so on. It might be a good idea to contact a roofer near you to conduct a regular inspection.

4. Block All Entry Points

Prevention is preferable to dealing with pest control after furry intruders have invaded, like removing rats from your home. You should block all possible entry points that critters could use as soon as you find them. Patch up any cracks, repair loose boards and shingles, and put mesh over openings like gutters.

5. Make Your Entire Property Unattractive to Critters

Unwanted guests often find their way onto your roof because they're attracted by something on your property, like trash. The best way to keep them off your roof is to keep them off your property, so seal up garbage and promptly dispose of it to keep them from following their nose to your home (and roof).

6. Clean Your Gutters Regularly

A man cleans gutters on a house
Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari / Adobe Stock

Birds often build nests in gutters. By cleaning your gutters regularly, you clear any of those nests and therefore prompt them to make their home elsewhere that’s not yours.

7. Call a Pro

If you've done all you can, it might be time to contact a pest control service near you to deal with the problem once and for all. The cost of pest control is about $200 to $600, which may be a small price to pay to ensure the problem is dealt with properly. Another option is hiring an expert who deals with wildlife, like a wildlife removal pro near you, to free your home of rooftop animals.

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