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Gutter Pests 

Pests are attracted to gutters for several reasons, but it's the damage they leave behind that homeowners need to watch out for.

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When most homeowners think of pests causing issues in their homes, they think of them entering through the basement or garage. However, another area of concern is the gutters with pests entering through the roof.   

Why would pests be attracted to your gutters?  Pests look for both clogged gutters and the standing water that results from not properly cleaning your clog. 

Decaying leaves and wet pine needles are the perfect breeding ground for harmful pests. Read more about common pests and the problems they cause.  

rodent in gutters

Commonly Found Pests


Here are some of the most common pests you may notice around your gutters.

Bees or Wasps 

The wet leaves and high location are the major selling points for bees and wasps who like to make their hives either behind fascia board or behind a downspout. Both these locations can cause damage to your roof.  

Carpenter Ants  

Similar to bees, carpenter ants, the largest and most common ant in Michigan, are attracted to the wet muck inside clogged gutters. The moisture makes the wood structures of the roof and fascia board wet, the ideal nesting location for carpenter ants.   

Small Rodents  


Small animals like mice, squirrels, rats, and even raccoons look to gutters with standing water caused by clogs. These critters may cause the most damage of all. Squirrels hide nuts and make their nests within the gutters, while raccoons, mice, and rats go to work chewing shingles to gain access into your nice warm attic during chilly winter months.  Calling pest control to remove these critters can be very costly.  

Obviously, pests in your gutters should be avoided at all costs. Understanding the damage these invasive pests can do to your roofing makes prevention a top priority.   

Here is a look at the damage pests can cause to your gutters and home. Even if pests are just a nuisance, knowing they are so close to your home is reason enough to call the professionals.   

Quick Tips to Avoid Pests in Your Gutters  

  • Always ensure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris, especially during the spring and fall when leaves are more likely to be trapped inside.  
  • After cleaning gutters, rinse them with water to ensure any remaining muck is removed as well.  
  • Gutters should be straight with a slight decline. Sagging or drooping gutters create a perfect location for standing water to pool.  
  • Installing gutter guards eliminates the leaf debris that attracts pests to the gutter in the first place. It also means there is no convenient area for animals to make a home.  


There could be several reasons your gutters make noise. In Michigan, spring and fall are the most frequent times homeowners clean out their gutters. Without this proper maintenance, pests can make their home inside the gutters, causing all kinds of loud noises.  

If you have been maintaining your clean gutters and you still have noisy gutters, try repositioning your downspout or swapping a metal downspout bottom for a plastic piece. If the noise is coming from water traveling through the downspout itself, try inserting a nylon rope through the entirety of the downspout. Water will attach to the rope and run quietly through the gutter.  When using this route, be sure to increase the frequency of your gutter cleanings as leaves and debris will also cling to the nylon rope.  

The number one way to keep critters out of your gutters and downspouts is to keep both areas clean of leaves and debris. Removing anything attractive to pests will stop the draw while keeping the water free flowing will ensure they can’t build nests.   

If the idea of maintaining your gutters often sounds impossible, gutter guards may be for you. FSM’s ProLoc EliteTM Gutter Protection System combines the best design, materials, and install practices to create a unique gutter protection system that stands out above the rest.   

Although spring and fall are the most common times to clean your gutters in southeast Michigan, knowing the warning signs your gutters need cleaning is important.   

Waterfall Gutters  

Probably the most common sign letting homeowners know to clean out the gutters is the waterfall gutter effect. This is when water flows over the gutter’s top instead of freely flowing through the gutter and out the downspout. When this is noticed, it is an obvious sign there is a clog either in the gutter or the downspout. During Detroit’s freezing winters, you may also notice icicles; this is an indication of stagnant water inside the gutter.   

Plant Growth  

Weeds and plants easily grow when the debris isn’t cleared. Rotting leaves and dirt is the perfect environment for seed germination, and soon your gutters will be taken over by weeds and plants.  

Bulging Downspouts  

When a clog gets really bad, you may be able to see a bulge in the downspout or the gutter. The bulge can both cause the clog and be the reason for the problem. Regardless, removing the clog and repairing the bulge right away will solve the problem. 

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    Keep your Gutters Pest-Free With FSM  

    Michigan’s warm summers and damp spring and summer weather make gutters the perfect breeding ground for pests like ants and squirrels. The gutter experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan have been dealing with these pests throughout Michigan and know the best way to stop pests from entering your gutters and keep them out for good. They offer a free inspection and leave you with a written, no-obligation quote.   

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