What Animals Can Get in Your Dryer Vents?

With the cold weather behind us for another year you’re probably ready to do some summertime prep to help prevent animals from getting into your home and creating a nuisance. From sealing up cracks to covering holes in the attic, you probably think you’ve hit all the weak spots that are susceptible to pests. But there is one area you might be forgetting about… Your dryer vents! Though this might not seem like a common area to have to pest proof, it’s one you definitely want to take a couple minutes to set right.

Pests in your dryer vents

Though you might find other animals in your dryer vents, the ones you’ll most likely encounter are:

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Squirrels, mice and rodents

You’ll usually find small rodents like mice in your dryer vents, but squirrels and rats might find their way in there as well. The signs of these pests will likely be the same. If you hear scratching, scurrying or thumping, you might have mice or rodents in your dryer vents. Squirrels are especially adept at getting into your vents since they can chew right through the plastic or thin aluminum vent cover.

Birds

Birds are less likely to make their way into your dryer vent compared to your home air vents, but if there is a hole in your dryer vent cover or the cover is missing, they will definitely try to get in. If birds do get into your dryer vents, you’ll likely hear them chirping and flapping inside the vent.

Bees, Hornets and Wasps

Bees, hornets and wasps go looking for safe places to build their nests. This includes all the vents in your home! Be aware and solve the problem before it takes hold by being vigilant and following these creatures as they hover around your home. The next they build may block the vent if it gets large, but perhaps more importantly they'll be persistently present and they'll stink if when you approach their nest. Ouch!

Hazards of pests in your dryer vents

Though pests in your dryer vents might not seem like much more than a nuisance, it can actually be quite dangerous to have them in there.

Get Trapped

Pests can easily become trapped in your dryer vents and possibly even die if not found soon enough.

Cause damage to the vents

Rodents and birds might tear apart the dryer vent itself in their effort to find a way out.

Cause fire hazard

When birds enter your dryer vents, they will likely bring dry materials in order to create their nest. These dry materials can easily get sucked into your dryer which would create a fire hazard if the dryer overheats because it can’t vent.

Leave a nasty smell

It’s no secret that pests can create quite the smell in your home, and the same is true in your dryer vents. It’s likely that their droppings and urine left in the vents will leave quite the smell, and if the pest gets trapped and dies it there you will notice quickly. 

They can bring a bug infestation

When pests enter your dryer vent, they may bring a bug infestation with them. Whether the squirrels or rodents have bugs on their fur that get transferred into your vents or birds bring food in for baby birds and they escape before they’re eaten, bugs in your vents will create a whole new set of issues.

What to do if there is a pest in your dryer vent

The first thing to do if you think there might be any pest in your dryer vent is to stop using your dryer immediately. The easiest solution is to contact a professional pest removal service to get the animal out. While you could try to do it yourself, it’s possible that your inexperience might scare the pest into going deeper into your vent system, or that you won’t get all of the debris out of your dryer vent.

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Prevention is the best choice

Taking steps to prevent pests from getting into your dryer vents is the best way to keep your home clear of the hazards they bring. Making sure that your dryer vent cover is properly installed and doesn’t have any cracks or breaks is the best prevention tool to keeping pests out. These vents are easy to purchase and install yourself but if you aren’t sure you can always contact a professional to help.