Wildlife Entry Points: Exhaust Vents

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Wildlife Entry Points

If you’ve ever had problems with wildlife infestations, you know what pain it can be to remove the critters. While the occasional unwanted visitor may be an unfortunate (and annoying) part of life, it doesn’t need to be. Making a habit out of maintaining your home and seeing to it that all the potential entry points, such as exhaust vents, are properly secured, can prevent animals from seeking shelter in them.

Exhaust vents work by depressurizing your home, in turn providing adequate ventilation for your home, whether it’s in the kitchen, living room, or bathroom. Unfortunately, they’re also prime targets for nesting birds.

If you’re not sure if there are any animals making shelter in your exhaust vents, place a cloth or paper inside and check back in three days to see if it’s been moved. If it has, that means animals have been using it as shelter.Make sure that there are no more animals inside before sealing the entry point.


Not all vents are the same and for the ones that vent gas appliances, such as a high-efficiency furnace, you should not attempt to put a screen over it. This can prevent the furnace from exhausting properly and create a back up of carbon monoxide, putting the lives of everyone inside the house in danger.

When first installed, vents don’t typically have screens to keep out wildlife. Vent screens can be purchased from hardware stores and are pretty easy to install. The difficult part is in knowing which kind to get. This will depend on the kind of wildlife accessing your home. Light-gauge vent screens are for smaller animals like mice or pigeon. For raccoon or skunk problem, grills might be the better option.

When in doubt, consult the help of a professional. This will ensure that any proofing done to your home is done properly and, should there be need for removal of any animals, humanely as well.

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