There are plenty of sound reasons for regular gutter cleaning, from preventing ice dams to maintaining a neater, more attractive home exterior. But one reason in particular should jump out at you if you suffer from pest problems: When you keep your gutters clean, you’ll have fewer of these unwanted guests taking up residence on your property. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between pests and gutter debris.
Who’s Up There, and Why?
Gutters attract all kinds of junk in the course of their work diverting rainwater from your roof to your downspout. This debris may range from specks of dust to larger pieces of organic matter, such as leaves and twigs. The latter are especially troublesome, and not only because solid matter is so good at blocking the flow of water. Water and time conspire to break this material down into a nutrient-rich source food, shelter, and breeding grounds for all kinds of creatures. Common examples include:
Ants – That indoor ant problem you’re struggling with probably means you have a colony of these unwanted guests right next to your home — or in the gutters, since ants are attracted to moisture. Carpenter ants, for instance, eat dead bugs or sap from plant debris that may have fallen into your gutter. They then burrow through the wood of your roof to find more food!
Mosquitos – Mosquitos aren’t just annoying — they’re downright hazardous for their ability to transmit deadly diseases through their bite. They also breed in water. A blocked gutter provides a perfect nursery for new squadrons of these creatures to thrive, creating a constant threat to your loved ones.
Birds – Birds build their nests in secure, cozy perches high above the ground. Guess which structure on your roof fits that description perfectly! Don’t be too surprised if you see a fully-built nest, eggs and all, completely blocking an uncovered, neglected gutter.
Termites – Termites love to dine on tree products such as leaves, twigs, and wood — including the structural beams of your home. By leaving these insects a multi-course meal in your gutters, including a self-contained supply of water, you’re inviting them to establish their presence on your roof and possibly eat you (quite literally) out of house and home.
Withdrawing the Welcome Wagon
The best thing you can do to get these gate-crashers off your property is to take their lodgings and food supply away from them. Cleaning your gutters regularly will go a long way toward keeping your home pest free. If your downspouts aren’t producing as much water as they once did during a rain, that’s a dead giveaway that your gutters are clogged.
Once you’ve got those gutters nice and clean, keep them clean by inspecting them periodically. Better yet, invest in gutter covers that can prevent debris from entering the gutters in the first place. For example, the Gutter Helmet from Moonworks fits onto the lip of the roof, overhanging the gutter’s mouth so that solid matter passes right over the gutter and washes onto the ground for easy disposal. Call Moonworks at 1-800-975-6666 today — and put up a “No Vacancy” sign against those troublesome pests!