7 Gross Pests Living In Your Dirty Gutters

Posted: 04/19/17 6:53 PM - Category: Eavestroughs & Gutters

As leaves and other types of debris build up in your gutters, there is the potential for them to get backed up and over flow. What you may not realize is that your dirty gutters could also make a nice home for a variety of different pest species.

Some animals may find the leaves and debris make a good spot for them build a nest, and in some cases, it is the moisture in a dirty gutter that makes them an attractive place for pests. Your dirty gutters may also be the first step that some pests take toward getting into your home.

Along with protecting your home from water damage, keeping your gutters clean is an important measure for keeping these pests away.

Mice and Rats

mouse ready to live in a dirty gutterMost people probably would not like the idea of mice or rats getting into their gutters. What makes it worse is that once they are in the gutters, it is very likely that they will be able to find a way into your attic.

It is not hard for mice and rats to get into gutters. Both are great at jumping and climbing, so they could easily make their way up a downspout or they could get into the gutters by climbing a tree and then getting on the roof from an overhanging branch.

If you want to keep them out of your gutters, it might be a good idea to prune any tree branches away from the home. You will also want to keep your gutters clean, and gutter screens could be a good way to limit access.

Birds

A dirty gutter is going to make an attractive nesting spot for birds. With things like leaves and twigs already in the gutter, they will have all of the materials that they need for making a nest, and it is high off the ground, so they will see it as a spot that is protected from predators.

Since birds can fly, it is not hard to imagine how they might get into your gutters. This makes regular gutter cleaning one of the most important steps for keeping them out. If the leaves and twigs are not there, it will make your gutters less attractive. As another measure, you could consider gutter screens.

Stinging Insects

wasp about to build a nest in your dirty eavestroughWhen it comes to gutter pests, insects like wasps, hornets and bees are some of the most common. The moisture in your gutters make them a particularly attractive spot for building a nest, and if there are other insects living in the debris in your gutter, it also makes a great spot for them to find food.

With insects like wasps and bees, preventing them from nesting in your gutters is tricky. They are just as likely to nest in clean gutters as they are ones that are dirty. To prevent a problem with bees or wasps, you need to keep an eye out for any places that may be good for building a nest, and if you see one, have it removed as soon as possible.

Squirrels and Chipmunks

These rodents might look harmless, but you do not want them living in your gutters. Once they are in the gutters, they could find their way into the home, and once they get in the home, they can be hard to remove.

For the most part, squirrels and chipmunks get into gutters by jumping from overhanging tree branches, but they are also climbers, so they could climb the side of your house. If you want to keep them out of your gutters, it is a good idea to trim any tree branches that might be hanging near the roof. Gutter guards can be another option for at least making it harder for these rodents to gain access to your gutters.

Mosquitoes

Clogged gutters can make for the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and if you let your gutters get clogged and backed up, it may not take long before mosquitoes invade.

We all know that mosquito bites can be itchy, and if your yard is overrun with mosquitoes, it will not be a pleasant place to spend your time. Fortunately, it is not hard to get rid of mosquitoes in your gutters. All you have to do is clean the gutters and when the water flows out, the gutters will no longer be a good place for them to lay eggs.

Opossums

angry opossum ready to takeover your dirty gutters and eavestroughOpossums can grow fairly large, and being nocturnal, they are only active at night. They may not be the best climbers in the animal kingdom, but they often climb to look for food and places to rest. These animals tend to look for old nests from other animals or take on shelters that are basically readymade. With your gutter’s walls and an accumulation of leaves, it could be an attractive nesting spot for an opossum.

Keeping opossums out of your gutters is important because if they get in the gutter, they are an animal that you will not want to try to confront on your own. As an additional point, once they are in your gutters, they might find a way into your home, and that will make an even more attractive nesting ground than your gutters.

Earthworms

You might be surprised to find worms in your gutters, but it is not that uncommon. If your gutters are full of leaves, dirt and debris, there will be material for the worms to live in, and among the other stuff in your gutters, a bunch of worms could contribute to problems with your gutters getting clogged.

Nobody really knows how they get there, but most speculation has to do with birds. Some suggest that the eggs hitch a ride on the feet and wings of birds. Another possible answer is that a bird might eat a pregnant earthworm, and the eggs make it safely through the birds digestive system, only to be left in the gutters.

If you want to keep pests out of your gutters, then you need to keep the gutters clean. In some cases, dealing with these pests can be dangerous, and this is especially true if you are trying to do it at the top of a ladder. Scheduling regular gutter cleaning service is one of the most effective measures for keeping pests out of your gutters.