Do Your Gutters Look Like This?
When pests hunker down in your gutter, you may notice some of these problem signs.
No one likes dealing with pests. Your first instinct may be to call in pest control experts, which may work for temporarily, but may not clear out critters for good. To truly protect your home from pests, you need to pinpoint what and where the pests are attracted to, and how you can make this area much less desirable.
Many pests are attracted to dark and wet environments, preferably with a steady source of food or water. Gutters that are clogged with leaves, mold, or standing water create an inviting habitat for ants, stinging bugs, rodents, and more.
If your gutters are attracting animals like insects or rodents — it will lead to gutter damage such as joint separation or sagging, and it may even cause other issues to arise around your home. Let’s dive into the specifics of what types of animals you might find in your gutters and what some tips on how to mitigate the problem.
What Bugs Or Animals Live In Gutters?
There’s a wide array of critters that find their way in or around your home because of clogged or damaged gutters. Here are the most common pest infestations found in gutters around our state, and why.
Atlanta is known as one of the worst metro areas for mosquitoes in the nation. Up until recently, Atlanta has held the lead for seven years in Orkin’s list of top mosquito cities in the United States. Your gutters can either help or hurt you when fighting against a Georgia mosquito infestation.
Without routinely maintaining your gutters, it leaves them open to clogging by leaves, pine needles, branches, and other outdoor debris. This allows stagnant water to collect in dirty gutters which attracts mosquitoes—specifically females seeking a perfect breeding ground to lay eggs.
Mosquito eggs are laid, grown, and hatched only while submerged underwater, inside of a confined natural container. Gutters provide a perfect nesting location for mosquitoes; if you notice more mosquitoes than normal crowded around your home, it could be the result of your gutter-turned nesting ground.
Rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, and more can easily access your gutters by climbing up the side of cables or even your gutter’s downspout. These types of vermin are attracted to your home due to the buildup of debris which can aid in building nests.
Mice and rats are notorious for chewing through any materials to get inside homes. This rings true for gutters, as they not only chew holes into your home, but also your gutters, rendering them useless.
Similar to mosquitoes, fungus gnats are a staple of Georgia summers. Many central to southern Georgia homeowners are familiar with the “gnat line,” a loose barrier identifying the areas to the south as where gnats reign supreme. Extending from Columbus to Augusta, the gnat line mirrors Georgia’s fall line which separates the coastal region from the piedmont region of Georgia.
The sandy soils located in Georgia’s coastal region make for an attractive nesting ground for gnats—and your clogged gutters make for a great hangout spot. While they may not lay eggs in water, they gravitate to rotting foliage and standing water in swamp-like conditions. Neglecting your gutters for too long can create this type of mini-ecosystem within your gutters, ultimately gratifying fungus gnats.
Bees and Wasps
As some of the most nerve-wracking pests to have around your home, many homeowners may focus on fleeing wasps and hornets rather than finding the source. If you don’t keep up with your gutters, it’s likely that stinging insects have taken root there.
Debris gives wasps and bees shelter inside of your gutter, while the excess moisture built up from drainage being clogged up will attract prey. You’re more likely to have a bee or wasp problem in your gutters if your home is close to large, overhanging trees.
Quick Tips on How To Prevent Gutter Pests
- Keep up a gutter maintenance routine. It’s recommended have a consistent gutter cleaning schedule at least twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. To make sure you got everything, run your garden hose through the top of the gutter and see if water is still clogged or is coming out normally.
- Repair any holes or malfunctions. Holes and breakage can occur in gutters whether pests are present in your gutters, or not. Rust can form in aluminum gutters and break down the material; or, after a heavy clog, standing water can weigh down your gutter and break its joints. And as already mentioned, pests are known to chew through or break down gutters if given the chance.
- Replace damaged gutter materials. After enough damage, some gutters aren’t salvageable and will need a complete replacement. If your home’s gutters have reached this point, you’ll want to make sure you choose a durable, specialty gutter made of rust-proof Galvalume or copper. Seamless gutter installations are also a great option, as there are no weak gutter joints that pests or the elements can target and break down.
- Invest in a gutter guard system. Gutter Guards come in all different shapes and sizes, but all serve the same purpose of preventing debris from getting into your gutters. Installers apply a perforated gutter cover that allows water to flow through and out your downspout, while stopping leaves and twigs from getting through. While technically bugs can still sneak into the holes of the gutter guard, the lack of standing water and debris will make your gutter a generally dry neutral place that bugs won’t be attracted to.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Water damage to the side of your home, your home’s shingles, and your attic.
- Basement leaking from allowing water to pool around your foundation.
- Foundation cracking, due to saturated soil from pooling water.
- Broken gutter joints (gutter seams).
- Plants and other foliage growing out of your gutter.
- Try running water down through your downspout.
- If a simple hose spray doesn’t work, create a seal using a rag or hand towel at the top of the gutter, then spray your garden hose into the top of the downspout.
- Break out the power tools. A leaf blower, shop vac, or even power washer can provide enough force to unclog your downspout.
- Hire a professional. If all else fails, call in the professionals who have the specialized tools and expertise to clean and fortify your gutter and downspouts.
Since gutters play such a vital role in the function of your entire home, having the right gutter protection system is worthwhile overall. Not only will they improve the appearance of your gutters, but they aid in vital pest management and foundation protection.
Call in AquaGuard, Georgia’s Water Management Experts
Your home should be a safe and relaxing space for you and your family. When you hear a rumbling in your gutter, it’s time to act and restore peace to your home. At AquaGuard, we’re devoted to sharing our expertise and durable solutions that will protect your home for years to come.
A free inspection and no-obligation quote is fingertips away. Our certified field inspectors will perform a whole-home inspection to find the route of your home’s gutter and foundation issues. We are proud to provide you with a quote that encompasses our list of recommended services for your home, so you can make the best decision for you.