How to Stop Animals From Going in Drain Spouts

Keep the area around your drain spouts clear.
Keep the area around your drain spouts clear. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Rats, mice, chipmunks, squirrels and other little critters may be using your downspouts to reach your roof. From there, they may find an opening into your attic, or perhaps their little pitter-patters are a nuisance. To stop the animals from going into your drain spouts, a simple barrier and some changes to your landscape should do the trick.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Grass trimmer
  • Pruning shears
  • Clippers
  • Hardware cloth
  • Tin snips
  • Self-tapping screws

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Clean up the area around the drain spouts. Animals are more likely to venture toward the spouts if they can easily hide from their predators. Rake up leaves, trim the grass, prune shrub branches so they are off the ground and remove wood and stick piles and anything else around your home where animals can hide.

Cut 1/2-inch hardware cloth with tin snips so you have a piece for the bottom of each downspout. Hardware cloth is made of a thin piece of metal but is mesh that will allow water to escape the downspout. Fit each piece around the outside of downspout and bend and cut the sides so there is 3 extra inches for the sides. It will look like a wide cup when you are done.

Secure the hardware cloth on the spout in several spots using short self-tapping sheet metal screws with heads that are about 2/3 inch in diameter so they fit securely inside and over the 1/2-inch openings. When twisted, self tapping screws fasten into the spout, so no drilling is required.

Check the drain spouts after a hard rain to be sure no debris, sticks and leaves have accumulated. Take the hardware cloth off if cleaning is necessary. You want to keep the spouts clean so water does not back up.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you install a piece of hardware cloth or another gutter protector on top of the rain spouts, less debris will clog up the spouts.

References

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