How Do I Get Rid of Rodents in My Roof Space?

The scratching, the scurrying, the tell-tale droppings – unwelcome signs that you’ve got uninvited guests in your roof cavity. Rodents, like rats and mice, can wreak havoc in your Australian home, chewing wires, damaging insulation, and leaving behind unpleasant odours. But fear not! Here’s a comprehensive guide to tackling this furry foe, with a focus on Australian considerations and regulations.

Understanding Aussie Rodents

Australia is home to various rodent species, but the most common roof invaders are:

  • Roof Rats: Agile climbers known for their reddish-brown fur and preference for high spaces like your roof.
  • House Mice: Smaller than roof rats, with grey fur and a penchant for nesting in warm, sheltered areas like your roof cavity.

Identifying the specific rodent is crucial, as different species respond to varying control methods.

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Here are some telltale signs of a rodent infestation in your roof space:

  • Scratching noises: Particularly at night, as rodents are more active during these hours.
  • Droppings: Look for dark, pellet-shaped droppings throughout your home and near potential entry points.
  • Gnaw marks: On wires, insulation, woodwork, and food packaging.
  • Grease marks: Rodents leave oily trails along walls and near their runways.
  • Nests: Made from shredded paper, insulation, or other soft materials.
  • Musty odours: A sign of rodent urine and droppings accumulating in your roof.

Taking Action: A Multi-Pronged Approach

Getting rid of rodents requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are the key steps:

1. Exclusion: Sealing Entry Points

Rodents are excellent at squeezing through tiny gaps. Conduct a thorough inspection of your roofline, eaves, soffits, and walls for potential entry points. Common areas to seal include:

  • Gaps around pipes, vents, and cables entering your roof.
  • Damaged roof flashing.
  • Cracks in walls and around windows.
  • Gaps around vents and chimneys.

Use appropriate materials like metal mesh, expanding foam, or caulking to seal these openings. Remember, exclusion is the most critical step in preventing future infestations.

2. Trapping: Removing Existing Rodents

Once entry points are sealed, it’s time to tackle the current rodent population. Here are some trapping options:

  • Snap Traps: These quick-kill traps are effective for eliminating rodents but require careful placement and frequent checking. Use peanut butter or cheese as bait.
  • Live Traps: A more humane option, allowing you to release the rodents elsewhere. However, releasing them too close to your home can lead to them returning. Check local regulations for proper relocation procedures.

Important Note: Always check your local regulations regarding trapping and relocating rodents. Some Australian states have restrictions on releasing captured rodents in certain areas.

3. Repellents: Discouraging Future Activity

Repellents can deter rodents from returning after trapping. However, their effectiveness varies:

  • Natural Repellents: Peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and ammonia (with caution) have a strong scent that discourages rodents. However, their effect weakens over time and needs frequent reapplication.
  • Chemical Repellents: Commercially available sprays and ultrasonic devices claim to repel rodents. While some may show temporary effectiveness, results can be inconsistent.

4. Professional Help: Considering a Pest Control Expert

For severe infestations or if DIY methods prove ineffective, consider calling a professional pest control company. They have the expertise, experience, and stronger rodenticides (subject to regulations) to tackle the problem efficiently.

Australian Considerations:

  • Rodenticide Restrictions: Many rodenticides are restricted in Australia due to potential risks to native wildlife. A licensed pest control company can use these products legally and safely.
  • Wildlife Considerations: Be mindful of the potential impact on native Australian fauna. Avoid using poisons that could harm them.

Preventing Future Infestations

Once you’ve eliminated the current infestation, take steps to prevent future problems:

  • Maintain a clean environment: Store food in sealed containers, and don’t leave crumbs or spills around.
  • Keep your yard tidy: Eliminate potential nesting sites like overgrown vegetation and piles of debris.
  • Regular inspections: Regularly check your roof and eaves for signs of damage or entry points.


By following these steps and considering the Australian context, you can effectively tackle a rodent infestation in your roof space. Remember, prevention is key. By sealing entry points, maintaining a clean environment, and conducting regular inspections, you can create a less hospitable environment for these unwelcome guests.