When you think about things that can get into gutters and cause clogs or problems, you probably think about leaves, pine needles, acorns, pinecones – all the usual culprits. However, depending on where you live (and depending on your local environment), nesting animals can also be a concern. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping birds, squirrels, and other nesting critters out of your gutters throughout the fall months.
Provide Other Living Spaces
In some situations, if you’re struggling to keep squirrels and birds out of your gutters, your best option might be to simply provide them with other habitats rather than trying various repellants. Strategically-placed birdhouses all across your property can do wonders to keep them from nesting in your gutters, and for squirrels, consider planting shrubs. As long as your shrubs are close to the ground, they can be near your home without fear of the animals reaching the roof.
Use Gutter Covers
The very best option for keeping squirrels, birds, and other nesting critters out of your gutters involves installing gutter covers. You can find a wide variety of these at GutterSupply.com, and they are good for much more than simply blocking out unwanted pests. Some, such as the High Flow Gutter Guard, were designed for areas that are known for high rates of rainfall. Others, including the Micro Mesh Gutter Guard, will keep out even small debris like pine needles.
Trim or Remove Trees and Limbs
If squirrels are your main culprits, the best thing you can do to keep them off your roof altogether is to remove any tree limbs – or in some cases, even the trees themselves – that allow them access to your roof. Make certain there’s a 10-foot gap between the closest limb and your roof since squirrels are known to jump long distances. When planting trees, follow this same advice. Be certain that you consider the full spread of the tree’s limbs at maturity and plan for that 10-foot space.
Use Predator Urine
You might also consider utilizing predator urine to keep small animals like squirrels away. You can find this product online, and most of your local farm stores should carry it, as well. Though this is a great solution to help thin out an infestation, it is temporary and should be used in conjunction with other methods to keep animals out for the long run. To use it, soak old rags in the urine and then place the rags under landscape mulch around downspouts. The odor will carry, and it is sure to chase off any squirrels that are currently calling your gutters home.
Install Wire Mesh
Wire mesh is another option if you are looking for a solution that is both semi-permanent and on the affordable side. You can purchase wire mesh at most farm and home improvement stores in large rolls. Using it to cover the tops of your gutters and the bottom downspout openings is the best way to utilize this tool; otherwise, you might also opt to cover the downspout openings at both the top and bottom to help keep squirrels out if you are looking to save money, but this leaves the tops of your gutters vulnerable.
Nesting animals often find homes in your gutters during the fall months, and while squirrels and birds may be a welcome sight, they can do a great deal of damage to your gutter system, landscaping, and even your home. Keeping these critters out of your gutters is sure to save you time, money, and frustration, but the tips above can help.