Does the thought of critters dwelling inside of your gutter system send shivers down your spine? Creepy crawly and slithery critters love to call half-round or open-top gutter systems home, especially if they’re untidy. If you haven’t cleaned your gutters within the last three to six months there could be some scary creatures hiding in your gutters.
Creatures of all sorts love to call gutter systems home for several reasons: there’s water, a food source (bugs, algae, etc.), and it’s high up away from some predators. If you’re wondering what’s crawling inside of your gutters, continue reading to learn about 5 critters lurking in your gutter system and how you can keep them away for good.
While some rodents like squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, they shouldn’t dwell in a gutter system, however, they often do. Other rodents that aren’t as adorable—mice and rats—also find their way into gutter systems. Rodents feast on plants, seeds, and twigs, items that are all found inside of half-round and k-style gutter systems whether they have a gutter screen or filter. Because they have a direct food source, they often nest in untidy gutters.
Besides leaving a mess of droppings and a nest behind, they can clog gutter systems by creating a blockage that prevents water from flowing freely through the gutters and into the downspouts. A blockage impedes water flow, forcing water to flow over the sides of the gutters resulting in drainage issues. In addition to creating clogs, rodents can also cause damage to your home’s roof and siding by chewing on these surfaces and even making their way into your home in the process.
Insects can make our skin crawl, especially if they’re creepy and crawly. Unfortunately, they’re almost often found inside of an open-top gutter system especially if it’s not cleaned often. Creepy crawlers like millipedes, centipedes, spiders, and other insects like mosquitoes and wasps are often found inside open-top gutter systems.
Insects only need higher humidity levels, the right temperature for their species, and a steady source of food to survive, all of which are made readily available inside of an open-top gutter system, especially in a climate like ours in the St. Louis area. We have high humidity levels in the spring and summer months, creating the perfect ecosystem for insects to thrive and multiply.
Though we love to hear their sweet songs year-round, birds should live in trees, not in our gutter systems. Unfortunately, if a gutter system is left to collect debris like twigs, dirt, silt, and leaves, birds have everything they need to make a nest. They’ll be protected from predators and will take advantage of the materials needed to make a nest and call a gutter system home real quick.
Understandably, birds don’t like humans getting anywhere near their nests and can be aggressive when people enter and exit a home. Not only will they become aggressive if they’re protecting their hatchlings but they’ll create a mess of droppings, feathers, and nests, all of which can easily clog the gutter system.
Worms are great for our garden beds but not for our gutters. Worms need soil to survive, and when a gutter system is clogged with dirt and debris, it can quickly become a hotspot for earthworms to live and breed. While they don’t typically crawl up a home to gain access to the gutters, they can be carried and dropped via birds or by overhanging tree branches.
The average person doesn’t want to encounter a snake, especially hanging out of a gutter system. Not only are snakes creepy and crawly but they can be aggressive and dangerous depending on the type of snake. They can call a gutter system home if they have a food source readily available. Snakes feed on rodents and if any are dwelling in a gutter system then they’ll most likely find their way in.
In addition to instilling fear in most homeowners, snakes can cause gutters to clog and the ability to flush water at a rapid rate can be slowed if the snake is taking up space.
How to Keep Critters Out of Your Gutter System
No one wants to find rodents, insects, birds, worms, or snakes in their gutter system or deal with the messes they leave behind, so it’s best to take some preventative measures to keep them away. If you have an open-top or half-round gutter system then you need to ensure that you deep clean your gutter system at least two times per year to remove any critters and their food sources.
The best thing you can do to prevent critters from entering your gutter system and calling it home is to install the K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System. Our gutter product eliminates the possibility of becoming clogged by pesky pests because of the design of our curved hood that has a narrow opening that only water can squeeze into. Since only water adheres to our curved hood and enters the gutter system there is nowhere for debris, leaves, and pests to enter the system, thus, it’ll never become clogged.
Take advantage of our free in-home estimate that includes a detailed analysis of your current gutter system along with estimated costs for installing your K-Guard System. We proudly offer our gutter installation service to homeowners in St. Louis and surrounding areas including, but not limited to, the following locations: