It’s easy to let gutter maintenance fall by the wayside. After all, how many problems can leaves or twigs in your gutters really cause? The debris itself may not lead to extensive gutter damage, though you may deal with buildup that causes clogs or heavy standing water. However, it can make some animals believe your gutters are the ideal place to make a home.
The animals we cover in this article are some of the ones people most commonly find in gutters. Keeping these critters out comes down to keeping your gutters clean. Learn more about them and what you can do to keep them out and ensure they stay out.
Critters That May Lurk in Your Gutters
You may encounter the following critters lurking in your home’s gutters:
Mosquitos thrive in standing water, primarily during the warm spring and summer months. If your gutters have drainage issues, you may have unintentionally created a prime breeding ground.
While some itchy bites aren’t the end of the world, mosquitos can carry viruses like Zika and West Nile Virus, making them potentially dangerous pests if they find their way into your gutters.
Many homeowners love seeing and hearing birds around their property, but you may not want to be as welcoming to birds that create nests inside your gutters. If your gutters are full of needles, leaves, and sticks, birds might find them an attractive place to make a home for their new babies.
While birds aren’t nearly as dangerous or destructive as other pests, their droppings can stain your home’s exterior and clog your gutters. Plus, even when you get rid of a bird’s nest, another may take its place.
3. Rodents — Mice, Squirrels, and Chipmunks
Like birds, rodents rely on the debris in gutters to craft their nests. However, squirrels, chipmunks, and mice present more of a hazard than birds because they have a way of finding their way indoors, especially during the colder months.
4. Bees and Wasps
Finding stinging insects like bees and wasps anywhere on your property can put a damper on the day. Bees and wasps may choose gutters to create their nests because gutters are high off of the ground and relatively safe. While stings are an obvious risk of these nests, another potential issue is the weight of their hives, which could pull down gutters or even compromise your roof.
Snakes are one of the most potentially dangerous pests you can encounter living in your gutters. They may crawl up your gutter’s downspout or into your gutter from a nearby tree. Like mosquitos, snakes find everything they need to live in a clogged gutter, including a wet environment, warmth, shade, and easy access to food. Critters like rodents and birds may also attract snakes to your gutters.
While not all snakes are equally dangerous, you should still exercise caution and call a professional if you believe you have snakes living in your gutters.
6. Ants and Termites
Gutter debris can provide shelter for ants, and once they’re in, it’s quite a challenge to get rid of them. It’s also common for carpenter ants and termites to find their way into a home via its gutters. These pests eat wood and it’s often difficult to know they’re there until you start noticing damage to the wood around your gutters.
Getting Critters Out of Your Gutters
If you have one of these critters living in your gutters, consider these methods for getting rid of them. Many approaches will call for intervention from a pest control and removal expert:
- Mosquitos: As with many of the critters listed here, calling a pest removal specialist is the best way to rid your gutters of mosquitos.
- Birds: Getting rid of birds in your gutters will depend on whether they have an active nest you’ll need to transport to a new location. You can call a professional or wait to remove the nest until it becomes inactive. In either case, be sure to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles, then use a hose to flush the entire area. You may also be able to prevent birds from nesting in your gutters by using decoys like rubber snakes or owl statues.
- Rodents: Besides regular cleaning, your best bet for keeping rodents out of your gutters is sealing cracks and gaps in the material or along your home. You can also call a specialist to get rid of chipmunks, squirrels, and mice in rain gutters.
- Bees and wasps: When removing bees and wasps from your property, it will be safer to call a professional rather than deal with the issue alone.
- Snakes: If you see snake skins in your yard or gutters, the safest option is to call a pest removal expert.
- Ants and termites: If you have ants or termites in your gutters, you’ll want to call a pest removal specialist to remove them. You may also want to consult an expert to assess potential structural damage to your home.
Preventing Critters in Gutters
The best solution for keeping critters out of your gutters is often to perform regular maintenance. Critters often make their way into gutters overflowing with leaves or debris that cause standing water or provide materials needed for nesting. Keeping gutters clean helps prevent animals in rain gutters. Ideally, you’ll want to clean your gutters twice per year — at the beginning of spring and fall — or more if you live in a wooded area.
Another effective option for keeping your gutters clear is installing gutter guards, also known as leaf protection.
Gutter guards are barriers over your gutters that keep debris out while letting water in. At All Season Gutters, we have gutter guards that can fit the budget of any family in Central Pennsylvania. You can choose between these three types of gutter guards:
- E-Z Gutter Guards
- Perforated Aluminum Gutter Guards
- Micro Screen Gutter Guards
You can install our gutter guards on your home’s existing gutters, so there’s no need for an entirely new gutter system.
Contact All Season Gutters for Gutter Guard Installation
If you want to keep your gutters clean without mounting a ladder yourself throughout the year, it may be time to consider gutter guards. All Season Gutters has over 13 years of experience serving central Pennsylvania and we can help you find and install the gutter guard that’s right for you. We also offer gutter installation and cleaning services. To receive a free estimate, call 717-315-3810 or fill out our online contact form!