Here in the Minneapolis area we get our share of pests, especially the flying ones. Most of the year - except for the bitter cold winter - we get mosquitoes, flies, box elder bugs, gnats, and more. But don't forget about birds, bats, and rodents. While you can't completely eliminate annoying pests, there are spots around your home that can be a breeding ground for insects and other pests. Paying attention to them can reduce the amount of aggravation. One area that is often overlooked is the gutter system. The #1 reason pests seek refuge in a gutter system is clogging. Debris that keeps water from flowing can create all sorts of issues for your home in addition to pest habitat. (But that's another article. See more on damage to your home that can result.)
- Standing or stagnant pools of water can foster mosquitoes, dragon flies, roaches, and carpenter ants. Mosquitoes can be more than just annoying. At least 11 counties in Minnesota have reported cases of dengue fever, a painful and debilitating illness that is spread by mosquitoes.
- Rotting debris can attract flies.
- Birds may find those clumps of twigs attractive and build their nests around them, further blocking the gutters. And as debris builds up, plants may even sprout, like in the gutter shown here. If seeds develop, that means more birds. Pine cones in gutters may also attract birds and rodents.
- Wasp nests are often found in clogged gutters.