Australian Animals In Your Roof At Night

October 3, 2021

You may be tempted to think that your house is haunted if every day in the dead of night you hear noises in your roof. The strange sounds coming from your roof every night are not from ghosts but rather an indication that a wild animal has found a home up there.

Wild animals are a beautiful component of the environment and are even protected by stringent laws. Unfortunately, these animals sometimes become a nuisance when they invade our homes, forcing us to eliminate or repel them.

The roof usually provides a safe haven for animals because we give little attention to what happens there. Most wild animals that find their way into our roof cavities and spaces tend to be nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. But, would we be fine living with wild animals in our roof spaces if they never made the noises that interrupt our sleep when we need it most? Well, maybe that would be the case if living with wild animals in our homes had no other associated problems beyond just noise.

Regrettably, these animals are dangerous pests capable of damaging our homes by causing fire and transmitting deadly diseases to us. You should not therefore ignore the presence of these pests in your home.

As soon as you identify signs that indicate their presence, contact trusted pest management companies in your locality for inspection and control. It is important that your hire experts who are authorised by law to provide professional pest solutions that secure your home from these wild animals without causing harm to them.

Before you call pest or wildlife control professionals to your home to inspect the source of noise in your roof, it is important to have an idea of what the animal could be. This article provides information on animals that are likely to live in roofs in Australia including:

  • How to tell when pests have invaded your roof
  • How wild animals access your roof
  • Structural and health problems associated with having wild animals in your roof
  • Wild animal diseases that can be transmitted to you when they live in your roof
  • How to get rid of pest animals from your roof
  • How to identify the pest that has invaded your home
  • Professional commercial and residential pest control services in Adelaide

How Do I Tell That Pest Animals Have Made A Home In My Roof

It is always long after the wild animals have colonised our roofs that we become aware of their presence. This is because we pay little attention to the roof and we hardly notice any strange activities up there until it is manifested as unpleasant noises that interrupt our night sleep. How then do you tell signs of animals in your roof before it is too late?

Here is a brief checklist that can help you tell that pest animals have made a home in your roof:

  • When you hear hissing, crawling or scratching sounds in your walls or roof space it is an indication that a wild animal may be living in your home
  • Signs of chewing on your soffit, siding or gutter
  • Animal droppings
  • Stained ceilings and walls, usually from urine and droppings
  • Animal odours
  • Feathers and hairs

If you observe any or a combination of the above signs, you definitely have a wild animal problem in your home or property. This is the time to contact wildlife control professionals who understand where and what to look for.

Native Animals That Are Most Likely To Live In Your Roof Cavity

In Australia, roof cavities and voids provide conducive environments for rats and mice, possums and pest birds to live in. This is because most of their natural habitats have been cleared for development and farming.

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are a big problem in Australia since their introduction by European settlers. They have the ability to climb high up the building and access the roof.


Hungry Possum Looking for Food

Possums are native to Australia and even though they are tree dwelling animals, they are a common pest found in roofs. Approximately 23 known possum species live in Australia. Species of possum that you are likely to find in your roof include: brushtail possums and ringtail possums.

Naturally, possums will sleep in tree hollows or high up on trees. But because tree hollows take long to form on trees and a few that are existing have been cleared to pave way for development, possums find it convenient to nest in roofs.

Pest Birds

Common pest birds that are most likely to live in your roof in Australia include: pigeons, seagulls, house sparrows, starlings, and Indian mynas. Some of these birds nest in large numbers and can cause a serious problem when they infest your property.

How Do Wild Animals Access And Live In The Roof?

Most of the wild animals found in our roofs are either good climbers or have the ability to fly as well as squeeze through small gaps. Ventilation gaps provide convenient entry points for these animals.

Rats and mice, for example, are good climbers and can access the roof by climbing vertical walls, hanging tree branches and thin cables or wires. Due to their flexible body and soft skeleton, they are also able to squeeze through narrow gaps and access the roof.

Roof spaces and cavities provide entry points for possums into our roofs where they establish their nests.

Pest birds mostly enter the roof through damaged areas where mortar has cracked and fallen off. Damaged roofing can also provide entry point to the roof spaces for birds.

Problems Of Having Animals Living In Your Roof

Your safety and that of your home is compromised by the presence of wild animals in your roof.

  • The unpleasant noises in the roof from these animals make our homes uncomfortable especially at night since our sleep is interrupted.
  • Animal droppings and urine stain our ceilings and walls thereby defacing our properties.
  • Possums and rodents like rats and mice chew through wire insulation. This is a safety hazard as it exposes electrical wires increasing chances of short circuiting and fire.
  • The unpleasant and irritating pungent odours from animal droppings and urine creates discomfort at home.
  • When these animals trap themselves in the roof cavities or wall spaces, they end up dying and decomposing. The smell that comes from decaying rats, possums, and birds is terrible.
  • Presence of animals in your roof attracts other bugs and pests likes mites and fleas.
  • Wild animals carry zoonotic diseases and can contaminate our food and water supplies through their urine and droppings. Bacteria such as leptospirosis and salmonella and viruses like hantavirus can be transmitted to us from rodents. The main transmission pathway is when we ingest or inhale dust contaminated by their urine or droppings.
  • Also, food poisoning in our homes can result from contamination by these animals making us ill.
  • Rat and mice droppings are potential asthma triggers in children.

How To Get Rid Of Pest Animals In Your Roof

The most effective way to get rid of wild animals from your roof and even to avoid re-infestation is by using the services of professional pest or wildlife control companies. Solutions provided by these professionals vary greatly depending on which pest has infested your home. Pest proofing is however the ultimate way to keep wild animals away from your roof. After trapping and removing these animals, pest proofing your roof ensures you do not experience re-infestations.

In Australia you do not have an option of doing it yourself (DIY) when it comes to the removal of possums and pest birds. The only DIY you can do is implementing preventive measures to ensure possums and pest birds do not nest in your roof. Acceptable methods of bird control as well as species designated as protected or pest birds vary from state to state. This makes bird control in Australia complicated and can only be done with the help of licensed professionals.

As possums are native to Australia, there are strict regulations around their correct removal from commercial and residential homes. There are specifically designed possum traps and it is a requirement that once captured they must be released into safe custody within 24 hours. Possum boxes can be constructed on trees so that they may find a place to nest away from your roof.

When you have wild animals in your roof, it can be stressful and it is much more reassuring to call pest control professionals to take care of the infestation. If you, however, choose to do it yourself (DIY), you can follow these tips to deter these animals from your roof.

Rats and Mice

  • Deny them access by identifying and blocking gaps and holes located high up on your building/rooftop and near the ground
  • Deny them all access to food and water in case they gain entry to your home
  • Keep your lawn short and vegetation around your home trimmed to deny rats and mice nesting grounds near your home as well as means of climbing to the roof
  • Use rodent baits to trap and remove them from your home


  • Maintain plants that possums love to feed on and shelter in around your garden
  • Construct and put up nest boxes to provide a nesting place for possums away from your roof

Pest Birds

  • Deny them access by sealing entry holes during winter when they are not nesting

How To Identify The Type Of Pest That Has Invaded Your Home

Before contacting professional pest control companies in your locality, you should have an idea of what pest you are dealing with.

Using online pest identifier tools is the most convenient way of identifying the pest in your home.

These online tools help you to identify your pest by:

  • What it does: Biting or attacking
  • How many legs it has
  • How it moves: Flying or crawling
  • The sound it makes
  • Droppings

Using the identification tool, you can then list the animal that fits your description. For example:

  • Rats and mice produce gnawing or scratching sounds and void black spindle-shaped droppings
  • Possums produce vocal and scratching sounds and droppings the size of jellybeans which are brown and sometimes have eucalyptus smell
  • Birds produce vocals and flapping sounds and droppings that mess the entire attic

Professional Commercial And Residential Pest Control Services

In order to combat pest problems in your home, hire licensed professionals who offer intelligent solutions for pest control. Professional pest management services includes inspection and treatment of pest infestations in both commercial and residential properties.

You should hire a company with technicians trained to Australian and international standards and who are able to tailor their services to suit your needs as much as possible.

In Adelaide the company that meets the above criteria is Pest Aid. It is a South Australian family owned and operated pest control company with many years of experience in inspection and treatment of the following pest infestations:

  • Rodents
  • Termites
  • Possums
  • Spiders
  • Cockroaches
  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Ants
  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Birds

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