How to Keep Rats Out of Gutters [10 Tested Tips]

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Rat infestations can be a headache, especially if they find their way into gutters. They can cause damage to your roof and house’s structure by obstructing water flow in your home’s gutters. Therefore, it is crucial to consider how to keep rats out of gutters.

To keep rats out of gutters, you must approach the issue differently. Cover your home’s gutters with a net screen. Use an electric drill to make a few tiny holes around downpipe openings. Keep your surroundings clean and prune all the tree branches, so rats can’t find their way into your house.

Continue reading to learn how to throw out rats from your gutters and make your home rat-free.

Can Rats Climb Up Gutters?

Yes, rats are excellent climbers and can easily climb up gutters. They use gutters as an entry point to your home and love to infest areas where you live. Additionally, they always aspire to live in your home’s gutters because of a vast supply of food and water.

Rats can tackle complicated tasks and are capable of being sophisticated problem-solvers. They can pass through even a minute hole. If you have any openings in your gutter, they can easily make their way to them and eventually to your house. Moreover, with their claws, they also move across vertical surfaces while requiring little support from handholds.

How Do Rats Climb Gutters?

Rats have a three-foot vertical and four-foot horizontal jumping range. They can easily climb gutters using their paws and claws. Furthermore, they use their long tails to move and jump along vertical surfaces. They can climb up your gutters in two ways.

Outside the Gutter

Outside the gutter

Rats use outside of your gutters to scale ledges or squeeze through gaps in your building’s facade. As they move, they squeeze their body against the walls of your gutter system. Additionally, bolts and grooves outside the gutters provide places for rats to cling to as they climb.

Inside the Gutters

Seal All Entry Points of gutter

Rats jump inside the gutters in the same ways as they do to climb outside. They can employ bolts or fasteners as gripping sites and squeeze against internal surfaces. Moreover, they can also use interior trash as a source of climbing. This debris can also serve as a nesting material for them.

Ways to Prevent Rats from Entering Gutters

According to the Science journal, rats living in drain pipes or gutters are the chief source of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease. If a rat accidentally wanders in your home, you should keep it out to prevent yourself and your drain pipes. Below are some ways that can help you in keeping rats out of your gutters:

Check the Gutters Regularly

Regular checking of gutters is necessary to look for the accumulation of debris and waste materials. Leaves and shrubs of trees can build up in your gutters, which may lead to water pooling and ultimately to home damage. As rats are fond of water, it increases the likelihood of rats living there.

Moreover, regular inspecting of downspouts is vital to kick rats out. While checking, clear the gutters of any debris and search for any openings that could allow rats entrance. If you discover anything that needs to be repaired, open the congested hole, and patch any tears with sealant.

Seal All Entry Points

Gutters are an essential part of every home. While they help avoid floods in your home, they can also serve as a means of entry for unwelcome rodents. Rats can fit into small areas and always look for new locations to nest and locate food. If you overlook the gutters, rats can damage your gutter and other parts of your home.

It’s necessary to regularly check your drainage system for any entry points that rats could use as entry points. Inspect your downspouts regularly and seal all the entry points with cement, chalk, or sealant.

Cover All Garbage Cans

Garbage cans are a rich source of food for rats. Rats draw to trashcans due to their appealing odors. To keep rats away from your garbage can, you must do these two things. First, inspect the smell of your garbage. Regular can emptying will keep the odor under control and, in the end, keep rats away.

cover garbage cans

Secondly, keep your garbage cans well-covered. In this way, rats won’t be able to get food or entry to trash cans, staying away from your home and ultimately from your drainage system.

Cut Tree Branches

Rats can easily find their way to your rooftops by using large branches of trees as pathways. If you find any overhanging branches of trees on your roof, it’s better to trim them off.

Furthermore, rats can leap comparatively great distances, almost like Olympians. You should trim your branches and long stems at least 96 inches or more away from your roof to eliminate all above-ground access points. In this way, rats can’t enter your home and your gutters.

Install Gutter Guards

The best way to keep your gutters free from rats is to cover them properly. One way is to install gutter guards over your gutters. Gutter guards are composed of gutter mesh, stainless steel, vinyl, and PVC. They can stop the entry of birds, rodents, mosquitoes, and squirrels into your gutters.

Install Gutter Guards

Additionally, you can seal the drainage lines that emerge from these gutters. You can prevent rats from entering your gutters by installing covers at the ends of these pipes. These covers come in different sizes and materials, so choose the cover that matches the shape of your lines.

Further, confirm there is no space between the gutter’s guard and its surrounding parts so rats can’t squash through it.

Use Gutter Brushes or Spikes

Installing gutter brushes or spikes is one of the simplest methods to prevent rats from entering your drainage system. Rats can’t enter gutters through the stiff bristles of gutter brushes, which fit into the aperture and can’t climb on them due to spikes.

Use Gutter Brushes or Spikes

You can install gutter brushes or spikes on your own without any tool. Above all, you can either buy these products from local or online hardware stores or create your own by utilizing supplies like wire mesh and metal rods.

Protect Utility Line Baffles

Rats are intelligent animals, and they can jump over utility line baffles in addition to climbing trees. They frequently climb the power lines, wander precariously, and then move down to your roof and gutters.

To keep rats from crawling down power wires, you must fasten baffles and install guards around the cables like pipes. Remember that these baffles must attach to the utility line bookends so that if rats climb up there, they remain caught at locations where they cannot drop down onto your roof.

Use Rat-Repellent Oils

Essential oils are one of the most effective natural rat repellents. Rats have a strong sense of smell, and the scent of oils like peppermint, pine, and cedar work like magic to kick them off. These oils work well to keep rats out of gutters and other locations because it has a pungent stench that they don’t like.

The best way to use these oils is to mix a few drops of them in a water bowl, then soak some cotton balls in it. Now place these balls around your gutters and see the magic. Moreover, you can also make a spray by adding some drops of essential oils to a spray bottle and then sprinkling it along the way of rats to throw them off.

Cut Their Food Supply

Rats enter your home and gutters to fulfill their hunger. Since they are constantly looking for food, having an abundant supply will be a feast for them. Sometimes, your bins are not adequately covered, allowing rats to carry out their mission by wafting odor through the air.

To prevent rats from finding food on your property, keep your trash cans covered and pick up any waste that may have fallen to the ground. Moreover, to prevent rats from chewing on your food, always store it in metal containers. By doing so, rats won’t be able to get into your house, which will protect your drainage system.

Contact a Professional Gutter Guard Company or Hardware Store

If you’re trying to keep rats out of your gutters and want trustworthy solutions, call a gutter guard system to sort out the problem. They prevent your home from rodents and pests and ensure proper flowing in gutters. You can save time and money by hiring a nearby company to install a gutter guard system swiftly and effectively.

Additionally, you can visit your nearby hardware store to buy gutter screens, metal or vinyl covers, and gutter brushes or spikes. These gutter screens fit snugly over your gutters, keeping rats out and preventing leaves and other waste from clogging them.

Other Animals That Settle in Your Gutters

Besides rats, squirrels, insects, and birds love to reside in gutters for food and shelter. Rotten leaves and debris inside the drainage system serve as nesting material for these pests. Below are the details of such animals living in your gutters.


Squirrels are adept climbers and typically reside in trees. These vermin have little trouble moving from one location to another, leaping and climbing onto your roofs, and entering your attics. Sadly, squirrels may move freely in and out of gutters.

They can safely hang out in gutters because they are safe from the worst weather conditions and predators. Moreover, they use gutter debris in every possible way to build their nests. However, if left unchecked, squirrels can seriously harm buildings. They can enter your attic and roof fast by chewing through wiring and biting on wooden facades. Thus, it would help if you adopted ways to keep them out of your home and gutters.


According to Cornell University, cockroaches squeeze their exoskeletons in half and move through horizontal fissures less than a quarter of their height in seconds. So, they can easily pass through your downspouts and make their home in gutters.

Even though cockroaches may live without eating, they require consistent water to stay alive. Because of the moisture in your gutters, these nocturnal animals prefer to live there. If you see cockroaches outside your home, you should take action to prevent them from entering your home because they can contaminate your food and spread dangerous diseases.


Open gutters are excellent perches for stray birds like pigeons, bluebirds, and geese who enjoy perching. Additionally, they can take advantage of a cushion of soft leaves, an abundance of insects reproducing in the decaying vegetation, and a variety of shrubs that are accessible for roosting.

While they appear calm enough to fly in the air, it is better to kick them off when they are constantly screeching outside your bay window. The best way to keep them away from your drainage system and home are to use bird deterrents.

Bees and Insects

Bees and insects usually invade gutters during summer because of the humid atmosphere. The weight of their nest can damage your property because many of these insects are hostile and strike to protect their habitat.

Therefore, you must protect your property from these pests by using pest repellents like insecticides or calling a professional pest controller to employ the best trapping strategies.


Mosquitoes love open gutters clogged with standing water, wet leaves, and other waste particles. From a health perspective, clogged downspouts provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which thrive in dense, moist environments. Mosquitoes need just one tbs of water to multiply.

Thus, you must take precautions to keep them away from your gutters to protect yourself from deadly diseases or to keep your home free from mosquitoes. Wipe out standing water from your pipes, and don’t leave open water for these pests to breed. Close all your doors and windows and use mosquitoes-proof nets to prevent their entry into your property.


Do Rats Live in Rain Gutters?

Yes, rats love to live in gutters that have standing rainwater. They are constantly looking for food, water, and shelter. Rainy gutters are the better source of food and water for them, so living away from such places means cutting off their basic need of living. Thus, you should remove rainwater from your clogged pipes to prevent rats from getting into them.

Do Rats Climb Up Gutter Pipes?

Yes, rats can easily climb up gutter pipes. Due to the small diameter of drain pipes, rats press themselves against the inside of the gutter pipe and squirm up like a snake. It implies that rats may gain access to your roof area to infiltrate your home. Therefore, you should install gutter pipes cover to prevent the entry of rats to them.

How Do Gutter Guards Protect Against Rodents?

As gutter guards construct with gutter mesh, vinyl, and stainless steel, they can fasten your gutters or downspouts so tightly that rats can’t get through them. When you install such gutter guards they can prevent the entry of birds, squirrels, wasps, and cockroaches aside from rodents in your home.
You buy the following gutter guards from your nearby hardware store to keep rats away:
– Net gutter screens
– Gutter brushes or spikes
– Vinyl gutter sheets
– Foam devices

What Is the Best Way to Repel Rats?

Utilizing natural rat repellents is the most effective method of rodent control. You can sprinkle pine, cedar, black pepper, or peppermint oil over your home’s entryway to stop rats from entering. Moreover, you can also use these oils by soaking cotton balls in them and then spreading them along the way to rats to kick them off.

Final Thoughts

Preventing rats from entering your gutters is the most daring task. Using gutter guards, trimming tree branches, regular inspection and closing of downspouts, and cutting off food supply can keep rats away from your drainage system.

By the above mentioning strategies, you can surely keep your gutter system free from rats. Above all, to maintain the best possible condition of your gutters, be diligent and do routine inspections and maintenance.

Moreover, if you can’t maintain your gutters yourself, contact a professional gutter guard system to keep rodents away.


Jiwei Yuan, Zhouyi Wang, Zhourong Zhang, Yuhang Xing, Aihong Ji, Mechanism Design of a Transformable Crawling Robot and Feasibility Analysis for the Unstructured Environment, Actuators, 11, 2, (60), (2022).