Why You Should Clean Your Gutters Before Wnter

Best Time to Clean Gutters to Avoid Pests in The Gutter

September 5, 2019

For most homeowners, regular gutter maintenance can fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. However, there can be surprisingly detrimental effects if you don’t clean your gutters. In this article, we’ll discuss how often gutters should be cleaned, what happens if you don’t clean your gutters on a regular basis and some of the potential larger issues if this chore gets neglected.

How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?

To prevent the gutters from backing up and causing home damage, the best time to clean gutters are during the fall and spring seasons. It is especially important to get the gutters cleaned out in late autumn before winter hits so you can clear out any fallen leaves, branches and other debris that’s accumulated before it snows. Mid-spring is another important time to clean gutters. Homeowners should make sure debris doesn’t start collecting clogging the gutters during months that typically see heavy rainfall. These are the two best times to clean gutters, so make sure you add it to your seasonal home maintenance checklists!

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?

While this particular type of yard work tends to be put on the back-burner, your home could face some major consequences. If you don’t clean your gutters regularly, the buildup will eventually clog the gutters and create standing and stagnant water in the gutters. Many pests, such as mosquitoes, spawn in standing water or appreciate the excess moisture which helps pests in gutters survive. Additionally, you’ll experience water damage to your home as it gradually overflows and damages the wood surrounding the gutters. This is the type of environment that attracts termites and carpenter ants.

Clogged gutters will also create water seepage onto adjacent wood of the fascia boards and siding. Moisture damaged wood is highly attractive to Carpenter Ants and termites and will act as a magnet for attracting these wood destroying insects.

Ants in the Gutter.

The pests in the gutter will be comfortable there for a while, but once the weather begins to cool down, they’ll begin to sneak their way into homes. Once inside, they won't stop - they will begin to scope out the perfect nesting spots which tend to be in the attic or any crawlspace they can find. If an infestation goes unnoticed for a long period of time, there can be serious implications for those living inside the home.

Pests in the Gutter

Insects and critters that are attracted to excess moisture are the most likely pests found in gutters. A few common examples include:

Plants in the Gutter

A living organism that many homeowners tend to overlook in debris filled gutters are plants. Many think the worst thing they will find are pests in the gutter, however, plants and weeds can thrive in this setting as well. When the gutters go unkempt, the nutrient-rich debris becomes a perfect breeding ground for plants, weeds, and flowers to take root. This can become a huge hassle for homeowners once spring hits.

How to Keep Your Gutters Debris and Pest Free

When it comes to cleaning out your home's gutters, it’s important to go through the typical motions of clearing out all of the debris, getting rid of any animal nests, plants or pests in the gutter, etc. Along with those things, you can also take proactive actions to eliminate the possibility of leaves or animals getting there in the first place. You can begin by trimming back your tree branches (a good three feet will do) which will reduce the possibility of leaves and animals getting into the gutters. Additionally, make sure you flush the debris from the downspouts to ensure there are no leaks in your gutters and to prevent debris from building up. And last but certainly not least, install screens or gutter covers to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating.

clogged downspout.

Leading Des Moines Pest Control

Have you taken care of your gutters this season? Don't wait until it's too late and you have an infestation on your hands. For further questions regarding an infestation caused by pests in the gutter or to set up a pest control service visit, give us a call at (515) 415-5550 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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