What Animals and Insects Are Living and Breeding in Your Gutter? Why Gutter Maintenance Is Important

Gutters were originally intended to keep water flow away from a structure’s foundation. They are also great for channeling the water away from the sides of the home or structure and preventing erosion and pooling water that can leak into basements or crawl spaces. They are also nice and convenient for keeping water from pouring directly over doors and windows during rain storms. However, the gutter wasn’t designed and installed for inhabitants of nature, such as mosquitoes and the many other pests that seem to make their home there.

There are some basic rules on preventing mosquitoes. Regularly change outdoor water dishes for pets, water in fountains, kid’s swimming pools and even keeping potted plant dishes empty. But most homeowners forget one of the most important methods of mosquito prevention – keeping gutters clear of debris that clogs and creates small pools of water. This is the perfect breeding ground for pesky and disease carrying mosquitoes.

Residing in the gutter is certainly not limited to mosquitoes. Just ask anyone who braves going up the ladder to take a look inside the gutters. Homeowners, groundskeepers and gutter maintenance people find all kinds of pesky residents inside the gutters. Birds create nests in gutters causing water stoppages and all other kinds of mess. Wasps and hornets love to build nests in the corners of gutters and even within small gaps between gutters and homes caused by settling or lack of gutter maintenance.

Aside from insect and animal pests, there are all kinds of other living things from nature found in gutters. Anything from weeds, flowers, plants and even trees can start growing inside gutters. Seeds that are carried by the wind find the moist dirt and debris inside a gutter and will start growing rapidly. Imagine finding a maple tree starting to grow inside a gutter. These types of stories are quite common and can become a real problem if neglected too long.

One solution for homeowners is regular maintenance of gutters. While some homeowners may decide to take this on themselves, those who don’t have time or don’t want the risk may decide to hire someone. Gutter maintenance services can be performed by groundskeepers or gutter maintenance companies. Most of these services offer monthly, quarterly or semi-annual services.

Another solution that would help limit the cost and bother of regular maintenance would be to purchase a gutter guard or leaf guard system. This type of gutter system keeps animals, insects, leaves and debris from entering the gutter in the first place. While there are various types of gutter guard and leaf guard systems, the ones that only allow water to penetrate a fine mesh are considered the best by many and result in greater customer satisfaction.

Homeowners in MA and other states in the U.S. that are concerned with protecting their investment and freeing themselves from pests need to consider gutter maintenance as part of the process. Proper installation, maintenance and repair of gutter systems is an important item that homeowners need to ensure is on their list of “to do” items.