Why Do Pests Gravitate Toward Gutters?
Like trees, open gutter troughs provide off-ground protection for various critters. If not well-maintained, gutter systems can also harbor debris and standing water, which, together, create a highly appealing environment for both pests and insects alike.
Depending on your locale, debris such as dirt, twigs, and leaves attract opossums, mice, rats, bats, birds, squirrels, and even snakes as they serve as ideal components for a well-constructed nest. Such debris build-up can also clog your gutter system, leading to standing water. Stagnant water then creates a moist environment that attracts insects such as mosquitoes, ants, bees, wasps, hornets, roaches, termites, centipedes, and millipedes.
What Damage Can Pests Cause?
When pests enter your gutter system, they can easily find holes or gaps that lead into your home’s insulation or attic. This can not only lead to unexpected encounters, but to expensive damage to your home’s foundation or electrical wiring system.
Additionally, these critters are known for carrying and spreading diseases that can pose a threat to loved ones in your home. Beyond simply dwelling in your living spaces, their droppings can contaminate your environment, negatively impacting your health and potentially damaging or permanently staining your home’s exterior.
Moisture-loving insects breed in high volumes, which occurs even more rapidly in undisturbed areas such as your gutter system. This can eventually lead to the development of heavy insect nests that weigh down your gutters, causing them to become unlevel and less efficient at clearing water away from your home’s foundation.
Moreover, certain insects are drawn to moist or softened wood, such as the fascia or eaves residing near clogged and overflowing gutters. Termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees are known for eating away at these wooden features, often causing significant and sometimes irreparable damage.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Pests
Ultimately, pest prevention is most possible through moisture control. Pests and insects are lured to your home via water sources, so removing areas of standing water and piles of wood that become softened from the elements is essential to preventing pests. To do this, perform an inspection of the perimeter of your home to identify stagnant water sources and piles of wood or decomposing debris.
While inspecting, don’t forget about your gutter system! Gutters are critical for maintaining the health of your home front. If well-maintained, gutters are responsible for displacing excess water and redirecting it away from the foundation of your home to prevent flooding, leaks, and buckling. However, without proper maintenance, a gutter system can lose its functionality and ultimately harbor pests and insects.
Cleaning and maintaining gutters can be a challenging and even dangerous. Installing gutter guards limits the homeowner’s need for routine gutter cleaning and is the best first line of defense against harmful and intrusive pests. Opt for a guard constructed with high-grade micromesh screens that allow for optimal water filtration and displacement while effectively impeding debris build-up and pest infestation.