It’s that time of year, when the leaves have fallen and your gutter is in serious need of a good clean. But be warned, leaves might not be the only thing calling your gutters home.
In winter some pests die, some move in with us, some hibernate and some tough it out. They may come looking for a warm place to hide for the winter, and your gutters are a great place to go. If they can find an opening in your loft, or into your home, that’s an even better place to hole up for the winter.
Here’s the most common gutter creatures you might find:
Bees, hornets and wasps are the most common gutter creatures, and perhaps the most irritating too. One sting from one of these bugs can be incredibly painful, and getting chased by a whole swarm of them is much worse. They won’t be too hard to detect because of their bright colour, and they love to nest in the corners. If you find a nest, it’s important to eliminate it as soon as possible, because it’s heaviness can cause significant structural damage to your guttering. Prevention is the best course of action in this case, so try to make your home and garden less attractive to these bugs. If you find a nest always call a professional pest control company to remove wasp nests, as well as bee and hornet nests.
Birds are always looking for a safe home for their family, and your gutters are a prime location. The height keeps them far away from predators, and the confined space helps them to feel safe. You will definitely know if they’ve made their nest in your gutters, because you will be able to hear them as they come and go. The nests can become quite heavy, which puts strain on your gutters. Plus birds carry diseases, smell terrible, and can clog up your gutters terribly. Putting up a birdhouse nearby may attract the birds to move home, and if that doesn’t work call in the professionals. Blocked gutters can cause all sorts of problems, even for your neighbours!
These pests can be dangerous, as they carry diseases, so try not to handle them in a way that could get you bitten. Rodents will multiply quickly, and are notoriously hard to catch. Pruning back your trees and foliage will stop rodents having a pathway to your gutters, and if you think the mice are in your house, it’s time to call in the experts.