Can Rodents Get Past Your Gutter Guards? (2024)

Gutter guards are caps that screw or snap on the top of your house’s gutters to prevent debris from clogging them up. For this reason, I, and the expert team at Today’s Homeowner, recommend investing in these upgrades to your gutter system. This is because gutter guards help prevent leaves and debris from filling your gutters.

Gutters also have a variety of pest control uses, and gutter guards can help prevent rodents and pests from entering your gutters. However, gutter guards are not a cure-all for rodent prevention or even a faultless option for gutter protection. In this article, I’ll provide an overview of what gutter guards can and cannot do when it comes to pest control, and provide additional recommendations for how you can solve a pest problem in your home.

*Costs in this article sourced from contractor estimates used by Angi.

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Gutter Cleaning Service

The national average price of gutter cleaning is $160, assuming you have about 200 feet of gutters.

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Gutter Guard Installation

In general, the national average cost of gutter guards ranges from $650 to $2,000.

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Gutters Installation

In general, it costs somewhere between $1,000 to $7,000 to get a full set of gutters installed on your home.

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How Much Damage Can Rodents Do To Your Home?

If you’re wondering if investing in a gutter guard system is worth it, I think it’s important to consider how much damage a persistent pest problem can cause to your home. In addition to spreading disease, contaminating food, and just generally being a nuisance by leaving their droppings around the house, rodents are highly destructive critters.

Rodents can cause a variety of extensive issues. Most notably, these animals can cause structural damage by chewing through walls and electrical wiring. The exact cost of repairing these issues will depend on the extent of the damage. But it will cost you an average of $175 every time a pest control service visits your home to get rid of these animals. This type of damage can quickly add up, especially if your infestation is a large one. For this reason, investing in gutter guards is a good first step to protecting your home against rodents and can definitely save you money in the long run.

How Do Gutter Guards Protect Against Rodents?

Gutter guard systems are usually made of gutter mesh and PVC, vinyl, stainless steel, copper, or aluminum. They’re snapped or screwed on the top of your gutters. When installed, gutter guard mesh blocks debris, leaves, birds, rodents and other pests from clogging your gutters or entering your home through the roof. However, this is not a foolproof method to keeping all pests out of your home, because there are still ways that animals can get around the gutter screens.

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Mesh over gutters is usually strong enough that a bird or rodent cannot tear through it. However, pests can enter your home through the roof in other ways. Gutter covers have holes in the elbows and downspouts of the gutters to allow water to exit. Rodents and other pests can use these narrow entrances to climb into the gutter and access your attic and walls. Gutters are typically under the ventilation area of the eaves. This means rodents a way to climb up and under the edge of your roofline into the attic or walls of your home if they find a way around the mesh.

In short, gutter guard protection against rodents limits the number of access points since mesh protects most parts of the gutters. However, persistent pests can still find their way into your home via the gutters if they climb through the downspout or elbow, where the mesh is not installed. This is why I recommend investing in additional rodent control and speaking with a pest control company to deal with your rodent problem.

Additional Rodent Control Measures

While adding gutter guards to your house’s drainage system is a great first step, I recommend scheduling regular rodent control and pest control consultations to check your home for new entry points periodically. Rodenticides, pesticides, and rodent traps may be applied or installed to deter rodents from breaking into your home. You’ll also want to clean your rooftop regularly so nesting materials aren’t readily available and trim back surrounding foliage, which can serve as a bridge from trees to your home.

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Other Gutter Guard Problems

Gutter guards are not without their faults. In addition to not being impeccable pest control devices, gutter guards can put your rain gutters at risk during freezing temperatures. If ice begins to build during the winter, gutter guards may delay ice melting, resulting in extra weight on your gutters. If the weight builds enough, your gutter or gutter attachments could snap. If the ice is thick enough shingles may also snap off, leading to roof leaks and water damage in your home.

Gutter guards are not 100% effective at keeping small debris, like pine needles or seeds, from slipping into your gutters. As a result, you’ll still need to clean your gutters and rooftop. If you don’t keep up with the gutter cleaning, your leaf guards could become a liability and result in rooftop damage. For this reason, I recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, at the end of the fall and spring, to prevent additional debris from clogging your home.

Closing Thoughts on Rodents and Gutter Guards

If you are looking to prevent pests from entering your home, a good first step is to install gutter guards. However, this is just one part of the solution to keep rodents from entering your home. Relying on only one solution for your rodent control is doomed to fail. This is because rodents are persistent about coming inside, especially during uncomfortable weather conditions that limit their food options.

A truly preventative approach to pest control should include using aluminum gutter guards
(or any type of gutter guard good for preventing pests) to exclude vermin from access points and minimize nesting. If you have a persistent rodent problem in your home, I recommend contacting pest control professionals who recommend trapping, rodenticide, or other pest management tactics to address your rodent problem.

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Reviewed for accuracy, cost data, industry best practices, and expert advice by Nikki Stavile.

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