While installing rain gutters, you’ve no doubt thought about how they’ll hold up against all of the most-known threats to their integrity. Hail can drill holes in the material, rain can cause leaks, wind can blow them straight off… but did you know there’s another natural malady that’s equally as fearsome, if not even more so? We’re talking, of course, about raccoons and squirrels.
It doesn’t matter how cute these critters look – on your property, you must consider them as pests and treat them accordingly. While you don’t have to deal with them with the same on-sight prejudice that you would apply to cockroaches, you should still do everything in your power to make your home less inviting for them and minimize the damage they cause.
Why a raccoon or squirrel might want to damage your rain gutters
As is the case with any pest, raccoons and squirrels need a reason to nest on your property or visit it frequently. Something in the vicinity is feeding them in some way – finding out what, however, can be difficult.
It’s rarely as simple as ‘not leaving food out in the open’ – these critters can get very hungry and do some amazing feats to get their chow. They could also be infesting your property because of something that’s not even your fault, like trees with nutritious growth, and could be climbing on your house in curiosity while still wreaking havoc on your gutters.
To truly deal with these pests over the long term, you’ll have to figure out what’s bringing them to the yard.
Immediate solutions you can turn to
If you aren’t in a position to wait until you figure out why they’re bothering you, you can consider using something to trap, repel or downright end the rodents pestering you. While death traps are effective, many home owners are reluctant to kill a squirrel or raccoon no matter how big of a nuisance they’re proving to be – the same goes for the equally as effective but no less lethal poison methods.
A non-lethal alternative is scrubbing a repellent over the areas being damaged or using one that emits sound waves, although both of these options are very susceptible to weather which makes them a poor choice for gutter protection.
Cutting tree branches that are in the vicinity of your gutters is an effective method, but also one that’s rarely desireable – you’ll often end up hurting the tree and harming its aesthetics(as well as reducing your property’s overall appearance). Not to mention, you might end up having to do some heavy cutting as raccoons and squirrels are capable of surprising stunts to get to where they want to be.
If your gutters have already been damaged, you’ll have no choice but to call a company that performs rain gutter repairs – you don’t want these failing when heavy rain comes around. While there, you might also consider a complete gutter replacement procedure that will outfit your home with gutters made from a more durable material that rodents won’t be able to tear into.
Of course, rain gutter replacement due to pests is hardly on anyone’s to-do list, which is why it pays to find out what’s bringing the rodents to your home – remove the culprit and the pests will be gone soon enough.