Yet One More Reason To Ensure Your Gutters Are Cleaned Out Regularly
The threat of a clogged gutter that lets water overflow and drowns the shrubbery below should be enough to make you clean the things out on a regular basis, but just in case you still aren't doing that, here's one more reason: bugs. The humble roof gutter, sitting high up off the ground, is the perfect place for bugs to hide out and reproduce. While you might think of bug infestations as things that happen closer to the ground, they don't have to be that low if a leaf-filled gutter is at hand.
Why Would They Like It up There?
A nice, decaying leaf pile offers protection, and in some cases, food for pests. Water that gets stuck among the leaves is, of course, a drinking source (or a home for larvae). The gutter is also relatively undisturbed. You may be mowing the lawn and pulling weeds in the yard below, but up in the gutter, it's nice and quiet.
Are Some Pests More Likely to Be up There?
Bees and mosquitoes are likely the biggest risks. Mosquitoes love the stagnant puddles of water that sit on top of leaf clogs, unable to run down to the downspout. Bees like the height and proximity to trees. Termites and ants could also be up there, though the gutter would be more of a bridge into the house than an actual nest location.
Are Bugs the Only Risk?
No. Rodents, other small animals, and even snakes have been known to nest in leaf-filled gutters. They serve as handy bridges between nearby trees and your home's crawl space or attic. Even birds can be a problem; while they don't want to invade your house, they can build nests up there -- and many birds are protected, meaning you can't get rid of a nest until after it's clear that all eggs have hatched and no birds are currently using the nest, which means you've got a months-long clog risk that you can't do anything about (although installing gutter guards will keep the nest out of the gutter itself, mitigating the clog risk).
Gutters fill with leaves on a regular basis; it's just something that homeowners have to deal with. But letting the gutter fill -- and then letting that leaf pile grow and grow -- is not something you're supposed to do. If you don't like cleaning the gutter out, that's understandable; call a professional gutter service like Hogan Roofing instead.