Pests in Gutters? Common Causes and How to Get Rid of Them

Pests in Gutters? Common Causes and How to Get Rid of Them

Your homes gutter system is integral to the overall health and maintenance of your home. Without a functioning gutter system, your home is open to a whole host of problems, from unsightly cosmetic issues to dangerous structural damage.

Why Do Pests Like Our Gutters?

One of the most common problems we see with domestic gutters are pest infestation… but what draws these outside critters towards our drainpipes? Well, believe it or not but neglected gutters make the ideal conditions for many species of wildlife. Rodents, squirrels insects and birds love to take shelter where there’s plenty of nesting material and food supply. Pests also like to be high up, away from potential predators and with good view of the ground below. If your gutters have no gutter protection and debris and dirt is allowed to build up, pests and insects will be attracted to the abundance of nesting material in your gutters. Gutters are also usually the ideal temperature for birds and other pests to make a home for themselves, especially in winter.

How Do I Get Rid of Pests from My Gutters?

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this also rings true when it comes to your gutters. The best way to treat a pest infestation in your homes gutters is to prevent them from nesting in the first place. However, if you’re already dealing with an infestation it is always best to call in the help of a professional pest control service.

How Do I Prevent Pests from Nesting in My Gutters?

The best way to keep pests away from your homes gutter system is to keep them clean and free of debris. Keeping gutters clean is actually easier than you may think and can be done with the help of a gutter protection system. Gutter protection systems or gutter guards are simple accessories that fit into your homes gutter system to prevent the build up of dirt and debris. Gutter protection systems can usually be found in brush or grate styles. Brush gutter guards which may be referred to as ‘hedgehog gutter brushes’, ‘porcupine gutter brushes’ or ‘gutter spikes’ usually consist of a stainless steel wire core and nylon or polypropylene bristles and take the shape of a giant pipe cleaner. The design prevents a build up of dirt in the guttering channels without preventing water flow.

Gutter grates on the other hand, sit inside the gutter channel and prevent larger particles from falling and settling into the gutter system. Gutter grates may be more beneficial to you if leaves are the biggest cause of build up in your gutters. Gutter screens work similarly, and use a fine mesh to prevent dirt build up.

How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?

Gutter guards lessen the need to clean your gutters as often but even with a proper gutter protection system in place, you will still need to clean your gutters around once a year. However, the frequency in which you need to clean your gutters will depend on a few factors such as the area you live in, the age of your gutters and whether or not you have gutter protection installed. If you live near a heavily wooded area you may find your gutters need clearing more frequently.