What Critters Live in Your Gutters?

Animals in your gutters can cause structural damage, health hazards, and serious disruptions to your daily activities. To protect your home from pests, it’s important to make gutter protection in Maryland a priority.

In this blog, we highlight common gutter dwellers and what steps you can take to prevent them.

Rodents

Gutters provide a safe and attractive nesting spot for squirrels, mice, and chipmunks. An elevated nesting area also keeps them safe from common predators like cats and dogs.

Any rodent nest in your gutters can cause clogs and reduce the efficiency of your drainage system. Most rodents reach the gutter system by climbing the downspouts. Sometimes, they’ll build their nest in the downspout. Obstructions in the downspout cause gutters to back up and overflow.

Rodents often enter homes through the roof. They can tear off shingles, chew through the soffits, or gnaw through the screens and enter through a vent. All of these can cause serious damage and costly repairs to your roof.

Birds

Birds love to nest on or around gutter areas, especially if it’s filled with debris. Twigs, leaves, and pine needles make great nesting material.

Over time, they could wreak havoc on your gutters and the surrounding walls and roofing system. If the nest continues expanding, it can split your gutter open at the seam.

Bird nests can also indirectly lead to moisture damage. They can cause obstructions in your gutters and prevent rainwater from flowing to the drains. This causes water to spill onto the pavement and exterior.

Additionally, if birds settle into your gutters, you will have to get rid of bird droppings from your exterior every day.

bee hive

Bees, hornets, and wasps

Insects such as bees, wasps, and hornets are common pests that reside in messy gutters. They love to build nests behind shutters,  cracks in siding, and in the peaks and eaves of roofing systems. Clogged gutters attract insects because they provide them easy access to fresh water.

Stinging insects can be a serious safety hazard for pets and people. Latest data from the CDC says that during 2000–2017, a total of 1,109 deaths from wasp, bee, and hornet stings occurred, amounting to an average of 62 deaths per year.

The health effects of stinging or biting insects range from mild discomfort to severe skin reactions and loss of consciousness.

Ants and termites

Ant and termite problems can often be caused by poorly maintained gutters. Rotting wood and decaying twigs and leaves that accumulate on top of gutter covers attract ants.

The biggest issue with ants and termites is that you won’t even notice their presence until it’s too late. They eat wood and can cause irreparable damage to your fascia board. Once they’ve infiltrated your gutter system and home, they can affect the structural integrity of your building and contaminate your food supply.

Prevent pest infestation with G.H. Clark

At G.H. Clark, we offer bespoke gutter protection systems that prevent leaves, twigs, and other materials from causing blockages and attracting nesting critters.

For more information, drop by our showroom in Prince Frederick or contact us for a no-pressure quote today.

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