rain-432770_1920Your gaze sweeps the yard and you look up toward your house. Suddenly you squint, looking even closer near the roof. Could that be a small tree…growing in your gutter? Quite possibly that could be the case. During the spring and summer, trees drop seed pods that roll off your roof into your gutter, only to be covered by autumn’s leaves and a good dousing of spring rain. The small seedlings indicate more than a green thumb, though; they signal your gutters are compacted with debris. This rich loam is ideal for growing all sorts of things, including insect and rodent families. Apex Pest Control has investigated several homes where gutters contained stinging insects, mice, and the occasional snake. This Orlando pest control company has a list of animals you may find in your clogged gutters and what to do if you encounter some of the more dangerous ones.

  • Stinging insects: Wasps, bees, and hornets like the damp, protected atmosphere gutters give; wasps and hornets feast on other insects that wander into the gutters. Because their stings can be dangerous, it is a good idea to call professionals such as Apex to remove the insect nest.
  • Mosquitoes: Cupped leaves can hold small puddles of water, which is ample fluid to allow mosquitoes to lay eggs. Within gutters, these cupped leaves (think of magnolia leaves) can harbor viable mosquito larvae within one week. Use gloves to remove any larger items, then wash out the smaller debris with a hose.
  • Carpenter ants and termites: Gutters are secured to the fascia with hardware that penetrates the wood framework of your home. Over time, the combination of wood and water causes rot that termites and carpenter ants find irresistible. Any signs of rot need to be repaired as quickly as possible since termite damage is generally much more elaborate than what you can see on the outside of your home.
  • Rodents: You may hear mice, rats, or squirrels scampering through your gutters since their diet consists of many of the insects living in the loamy gutter litter. Since rodents often carry diseases, call an exterminator.
  • Birds: Springtime invites birds that build nests in gutters, which can cause a traffic jam of debris much like a beaver’s dam in a river. If the nest is empty, remove it to a close tree. If it has eggs or baby birds, call a wildlife specialist for information on how to remove the nest without disturbing the family.

Keeping your gutters clean may prevent many of these pests from claiming your waterway as a home. Investing in gutter screens can remove much of the source of the problem. If this is not an investment you would like to make, wash out your gutters every few weeks during the fall, and inspect the gutters once a month to keep debris from gathering. Ensure the gutters are functioning properly before Florida’s rainy season begins anew. Contact Apex Pest Control at 866-675-4070 if your gutters contain any pests that you cannot remove yourself. The Orlando pest control experts will assist in removing wasp nests and mice and will recommend a termite protection plan after determining the extent of damage from any termite infestation.