Gutters don’t seem like a great habitat for living things, but there are plenty of animals who would happily make a home or seek shelter in your gutter system, especially if there is debris in the gutters. Animals in your gutters are more than a nuisance; they can damage the system, use the gutters to gain entry into your home, or even pose a health hazard. Here’s what you need to know about animals in your gutters and what you can do to keep them out.
Animals you might find in your gutters
You might be wondering what types of animals like to nest inside gutters. It may be surprising to learn that a variety of animals commonly make their way into gutters. Some animals who like gutters include:
- Squirrels populate nearly every neighborhood, and they’re notoriously good climbers, so it’s no surprise that squirrels are often found in gutters where they can nest or hide food. Squirrels in gutters can be a problem particularly for homes that have a lot of branches hanging over their roofline.
- Birds. Not surprisingly, birds will nest in gutter systems. Gutters are especially welcoming if they’re already filled with a layer of debris that can be used as a base for a nest.
- Possums and raccoons. They might seem too large to fit, but possums and raccoons enjoy the quiet shelter of gutters. That can cause a major problem, not only because of the weight and stress they put on gutters but also because they will bear and raise offspring in gutters.
- Cats. It’s no secret that cats like the high ground. Gutters provide them the sheltered vantage points they enjoy. Unfortunately, that means that your gutters might attract feral cats to your home.
- Snakes and lizards. It’s not uncommon to find snakes and lizards lurking in gutters. They’ve been known to climb tree branches to gain access to gutters or make their way up downspouts.
Keeping animals out of the gutters
Animals in the gutter can cause all sorts of problems. That’s why you should take the necessary steps to keep pests out of your gutters. Some strategies include:
- Cleaning your gutters. Keeping your gutters clean is important for a variety of reasons. It removes nesting material for animals, and it upsets any animal nests that have already been made.
- Trim back trees. Overhanging tree limbs create a pathway to your gutters for animals. Trimming tree limbs away from your gutters can help block animals’ paths to your gutters.
- Create alternative habitats. Giving animals better alternatives to your gutters can help keep them away from your roofline. Consider adding bird or squirrel houses to your yard. Planting trees and shrubs, as well as low-growing cover, away from your home also encourages animals to nest and seek shelter there.
- Install gutter guards. One of the most foolproof ways to keep animals out of your gutters is by installing gutter guards. Gutter guards will block any possible entryway into your gutters, preventing any damage they could cause while still allowing water to pass through.
If your gutters need to be repaired after being damaged by animals, or if you’re ready to keep animals out of your gutters with gutter guards, call The Gutterman of TN to schedule a consultation today!