Gutters are an important part of the exterior of your home. They funnel rainwater away from your house and prevent flooding and other damage from water or moisture. However, they don’t work correctly when they’re clogged with debris like leaves, twigs, dirt, and even bird nests.
As a matter of fact, birds’ nests in your gutters can become a major problem, and though it might be nice to hear the birds chirping outside your bedroom window, having these little creatures in your gutters can wreak havoc with your gutter system in general.
But how do you keep them out?
Well, there are actually a number of ways to keep your gutters from going to the birds.
- Keeping the gutters clean – One of the best ways to keep nests out of your gutters is to clean them regularly. If you’re diligent about this, birds will stay out. However, if a nest is already there, you may have to move the nest in it’s entirety to a different location or have a wildlife official do that for you. Depending on where you live, there may be laws about how you can handle the nest.
- Install gutter guards – Gutter guards or gutter protectors can easily keep birds (and other animals) out of your gutters. Installing them can happen when you first put up the gutters or they can be added at a later time. They may cost a little extra but they don’t require much maintenance and should last through the life of your gutters. In addition, they will extend the life of the gutters themselves because they keep out debris that can cause damage.
- Set up decoys – If you don’t want to spring for gutter guards or you want to try sometime else first, you might consider going to your local home improvement or hardware store and asking if they carry decoys to scare away birds. Rubber snakes give birds a good fright as does anything with large, aggressive-looking eyes. Place these in spots where birds tend to gather and see if they do the trick.
- Natural bird repellents – Purchase or make all-natural bird repellents that’ll keep the winged creatures out but won’t hurt them. Cayenne pepper or chili peppers, for example, will keep birds away because they don’t like the smell. Mix them with water and dish soap to make a spray you can use not only for your gutters but around your plants as well, if needed. Birds also don’t like most essential oils, vinegar, and alcohol, so look for bird repellent recipes for concoctions containing those items as well.
- Ultrasonic bird repellents – Birds are repelled by certain sounds and/or certain frequencies. Natural sounds, like a recording of a shriek of a hawk, may frighten birds away. Combine that with the previously mentioned decoy and you may have a sure-fired way to keep birds away. Devices like Ultrason X Bird Deterrent System, which comes with four speakers, can be a little pricey but do work quite well and have an extensive range. These are ideal for those with large properties and also work in keeping away bats, rodents, and other pests.
Keeping ahead of bird problems
The best way to get rid of birds, obviously, is to stop them before they get comfy in your gutters. Regular gutter maintenance can take care of this. If you’re on a heavily wooded lot or in an area that gets a lot of wind and rain, your gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, possibly more often.
In between cleanings, if you’re seeing flocks gather in or near your gutters or hear an inordinate amount of bird chatter, take a quick look and you can probably determine whether there’s a problem, even if you don’t climb a ladder to inspect the highest reaches. If there is an issue, call a professional to take care of it. Experts like the staff at Advantage Gutters can handle the problem promptly AND suggest ways to stop birds from coming back.