Critters in Your Gutters!

Sometimes dirty gutters include more than just leaves and pine needles… they actually may house unwelcome living creatures! Here are a few strange things you might see if you have been neglecting your gutter cleaning duties.

Plants.  Extremely unkempt gutters can be homes for plants. Nutrient-rich debris can form a level of soil into which plants, weeds, and flowers can take root. Here’s a tip- if you are sprouting something in your gutter, it’s time for a cleaning!  

Squirrels. The most common way these rodents find there way onto roofs and into gutters is via overhanging tree limbs. That’s why it’s wise to keep these branches trimmed back. A buffer of at least three feet is usually enough to disrupt a “squirrel superhighway” that leads to your roof.

Birds. Birds love to make a little nest of leaves, twigs and pine needles- even if the objects for this feathery resting place are found in your gutter! Construction materials for fine feathered friends may be close at hand, and if so, it’s time to clean the gutters.

Chipmunks. Chipmunks love to traverse gutters- they are the perfect size. But it’s best not to let them set up shop in your gutter.

Possums. Possums love to “play dead,” and sometimes they do it in your gutters. If given the opportunity, they will try to “play dead” in your gutters. They have been known to laze in a gutter and even give birth if given enough room.

Raccoons. Like possums, raccoons will try to make themselves at home in your gutters. Raccoons are also known to dig a hole in your roofing to get to your attic. Using a metal cage trap to trap and release may be necessary.

Lizards. Reptiles will crawl into your gutters and hang out. If there is debris settled into your gutter, you’ll soon see flies, mosquitos and other insects, and that’s when the lizards come in. If you remove the food source, the lizards will soon follow. Keep your gutters cleaned on a regular schedule and you can keep the critters out of your gutters.