Mpls Homeowners: Are Your Gutters a Haven for Pests?

Mpls Homeowners: Are Your Gutters a Haven for Pests?

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.

So what can you do to reduce the likelihood that pests are making their homes in your gutters?  First of all, clean them out and inspect gutters on a regular basis.  We recommend you do it at least twice a year:  once in the fall after the leaves have stopped falling, and again in the spring after the last snow melt.  But if you live in a wooded area, you might want to put this on your once-a-month maintenance list.

Another reason gutters get clogged is they have sagged or warped, and the water is no longer flowing as it should. You can easily check this by running a stream of water with a garden hose through your gutters.  If the water isn’t streaming quickly out the downspout openings, you’ve likely got clogs.  Another sign of a clog or problem is if water flows over the front or behind the gutters.  A repair or replacement of your rain-handling system may be in order.

Got gutter issues?  We’re here to help.  Repair and installation of seamless steel gutters and downspouts is just one of several exterior home remodeling solutions we offer.  We are a licensed Minnesota home improvement company, and we serve the greater Twin Cities metro area.

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