Why Do Squirrels Like Gutters?Gutters often capture leaves and twigs from wind and rain runoff. Squirrels love these materials because it helps them build a sturdy nest. Gutters are especially appealing because squirrels don't have to fight other critters in the open woodland for materials. Gutters make it easy to access. Plus, the dark enclosures of the gutters provide added safety. Gutters may also be appealing to squirrels if there is a food supply nearby. If they can easily access pet food or garbage that is close to the house, they will stay in the gutter, eat what is nearby, then return to safety.
What Damage Can a Squirrel Do to a Gutter?There are at least three major problems that can occur when a squirrel takes up residence in your gutter.
Drainage ProblemsSquirrels will often use gutters as ready-made nests. When this happens, they block the regular flow of water with nests of excess leaves and twigs. This can cause flooding in unexpected areas or water damage to your exterior wall.
CarcassesA sad reality is that squirrels can also get stuck inside the pipe and die. This can result in an unpleasant aroma and can attract other pests that may become curious. The risk of disease transmission also increases when there are carcasses near your property. Professional squirrel removal is necessary to keep yourself healthy and safe.
Access to AtticIf a squirrel is smart enough to climb up a gutter, it can likely also get into your attic. This can cause damage to shingles, insulation, vents, and siding.
How Do Squirrels Get Inside Gutters?Tree branches near your roof make it easy for squirrels to jump into a gutter. They cannot easily climb up the metal pipe from the bottom, but accessing it from the top is easy for them. Patio awnings can also be an easy way to get in. Chimneys and soffits are another culprit since they are at elevation and near the edge of the roof.
How Do You Protect Gutters From Squirrels?Trim trees that are close to your roofline. If squirrels cannot easily jump from the branches to the roof, they are more likely to stay out of the gutter. Keep food sources away from the house. Pet foods should be well-sealed and kept inside the house. Bird feeders should be installed far away from your house, or be outfitted with baffles to keep squirrels away.
Humane Wildlife Control in MarkhamSkedaddle has proven solutions for keeping squirrels out of your gutter. If your DIY solutions don't work, we will install a 16-gauge galvanized steel wire on top of your gutter and all of its access points. You should never attempt to touch or remove a squirrel on your own. Their sharp claws and teeth can injure you severely. They may also carry diseases to which humans are not necessarily immune. Trust Skedaddle to take care of squirrels by:
- Identifying all squirrel entry points to your property
- Humanely removing mothers and babies; reunite them later
- Cleaning any waste and debris left behind by the squirrels
- Repairing any damage to gutters, roofs, shingles, and wood
- Sealing any openings to prevent future infestations