Many people have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to cleaning their gutters, often causing unnecessary damage to their home. Around the world, there have been reports of a variety of living beings living in neglected gutters, and at GutterArt, we felt we had to share this list of living things that have made gutters their home.
The debris that collects in your gutters is packed full of nutrients, making the perfect soil from which plants, flowers and weeds will grow. We’d like to suggest that if you have plant life growing in your gutters, that’s probably a sign you need to clean them out.
Birds can make the perfect foundation of their nest from the debris of leaves, twigs and pine needles in your gutters. If they decide to build their nest in your gutters, they won’t even need to fly to make their home. Once the birds start laying eggs in your gutters, it’ll be a bit more difficult to get them out and clean the gutter, due to their young chicks.
If your home is surrounded by trees with over-hanging leaves, your gutter can quickly become a squirrel ‘highway’, giving them access to your roof and house. Trimming tree branches by about 3 feet will not only prevent this, but you may also minimise the amount of debris in your gutter.
If you live in an area with a lot of feral cats, you may find that your gutters are used as shelters from the weather and other predators. The best thing to do with feral cats, if you encounter one, is to call a nearby animal shelter, which will be able to take proper care for them.
The untended debris in your gutters is seen as an attractive breeding ground for all manners of insect and bugs, which also happen to be a lizard’s food source. For healthy gutters, no creepy-crawlies and no lizards, the best thing to do is regularly clear your gutters.
Snakes are found in rooftop gutters on a fairly regular basis, finding their way into them through overhanging tree limbs or climbing down a downspout. Once more, the variety of other wildlife attracted by clogged gutters offers snakes a rich and varied diet. You can avoid snakes by regularly cleaning your gutters.
You may not have expected earthworms to feature on this list, but it’s definitely true. No one is quite sure how earthworms get into gutters, but one theory is that worm eggs sometimes get attached to a bird’s wings or legs and hatch in the gutters.