While raccoons look harmless, they can cause various issues in your home. Often, these animals are attracted to gutters and downspouts. They can use these areas to build nests or even access your indoor spaces. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep them off your property. Learn more from a trusted gutter installation company.
Why Are Raccoons Attracted to Downspouts?
Access to Food
Raccoons are omnivores with a diverse diet that includes fruits, nuts and insects. Are there fruit-bearing trees around your house? If so, fruits can fall on the roof and gutters, attracting these creatures. They can also use your gutters and downspouts to enter your home where there are other food sources, such as trash bins and pet food.
Gutters and downspouts can make the perfect habitat for birds, raccoons and other critters. Small animals can use the leaves, twigs, and other debris in gutters to build nests. Regular gutter cleaning goes a long way in keeping pests from using your gutters as shelter.
How Can Racoons Damage Your Home?
Raccoons may dig through your lawn to search for food. If they find a food source in your outdoor space, they will keep coming back. They can damage your lawn decor, furniture and lighting fixtures.
Female raccoons are persistent in finding a place to create nests. They will go around your roof and look for vulnerable areas where they can break into. These creatures can tear off shingles or soffits to enter your attic. Small gaps and holes on your roof could mean these animals have accessed your home.
Insulation and Electrical System Damage
Once raccoons are in your attic, they can tear apart your insulation. These creatures can weigh up to 14 kilograms. If there are electrical wirings in your attic, the more reason to keep raccoons out of your home. They can chew on the wires, resulting in electrical issues around your living space.
HVAC System Malfunctions
Your HVAC system could suffer because of raccoons. They can infiltrate the tubes and pipes of your equipment, potentially causing damage to these components. Raccoons can also leave droppings and urine, affecting the unit’s efficiency and your indoor air quality.
What Can You Do to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Downspouts?
Schedule Regular Gutter Cleaning
Small animals and insects are less likely to get attracted to clean seamless gutters and downspouts. Schedule regular gutter cleaning from reliable professionals to protect your home against pests. An efficient gutter system prevents water-related problems, including mold, erosion, basement flooding and foundation damage.
Close Trash Cans and Remove Potential Food Sources
Food is the main reason raccoons love to trespass homes. Be sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and keep them closed. Eliminate possible food sources, such as compost piles and fallen fruits. It’s also best to place pet food bowls indoors. Raccoons often don’t find clean yards enticing.
Keep Nearby Trees Trimmed
Overhanging branches from nearby trees can provide raccoons with easy access to your roof and downspouts. Have professionals trim back trees around your property regularly to prevent this issue. Keeping trees trimmed can also significantly reduce the debris that ends up in your roof and gutters. Be sure they are at least 10 feet away from your house to avoid unwanted entry from small animals.
Invest in a Gutter Protection System
With gutter guards, you won’t have to worry about constant gutter cleaning. They keep debris from entering your gutters and downspouts and can improve water flow. Another great thing about installing a gutter protection system is that it can prevent raccoons and other creatures from building nests in your gutters. If you are interested in investing in a gutter guard for your home, Barry Best Seamless Gutters is here to help. Our experienced team also installs high-quality heated gutter systems.
Install Motion-Activated Lights
Raccoons are nocturnal animals that prefer to avoid well-lit areas. Motion-activated lights work great in keeping these creatures out of your property. Place them around fruit-bearing trees and garden beds for best results.
Motion-activated sprinklers can discourage critters from sneaking into your yard. They only spray water, so they are safe and harmless to animals. Sprinklers can startle raccoons, reducing the likelihood of them returning in the future.
Install Pest Guards
You can get pest guards for gutters, downspouts and trees. They usually have spikes, nails or wires that prevent raccoons from climbing. Pest guards can be put throughout your gutter system. They should be an inch apart from each other to deter critters effectively.
Add Anti-Raccoon Baffles
Raccoons use claws to climb on textured surfaces, such as tree limbs, bricks and siding. Installing a smooth metal or plastic baffle at the back of vertical gutters can prevent them from accessing downspouts.
Consider Getting an Electric Fence
Installing an electric wire or fence is another way to deter pests from your gutter system and the rest of your home. If you are getting them for your home, be extremely cautious around them because they can shock humans and animals. Experts recommend placing electric fences around areas you don’t want raccoons to access, including trash cans, gutters, ponds and gardens.
Get Down-Facing Funnels
Down-facing funnels can be installed in gutter systems with sections detached from the wall. The gutter’s open end must be wide enough to keep raccoons from holding out to it. Making the funnel longer will also reduce the areas these animals can grip.
Ideally, down-facing funnels must be installed from the ground up. However, their sharp edges can hurt your pets or children. Installing them at least four feet above the ground can reduce the risk of accidents.