How to Keep Animals out of Dryer Vents

Things You'll Need

  • Dryer vent hood

  • Electric drill

  • 10 wood screws

  • Caulk

  • Measuring tape

  • Hardware cloth

Builders can install dryer vents on the roof of a home, or on an exterior wall. These openings allow water vapor and heat to escape from the dryer out into the open air. The openings are also convenient ways for small birds and animals to get into your house. Once in the vent, the animal can become trapped and die. By covering the opening with hardware cloth or a vent hood, you will keep animals from getting into your dryer vent.

Exposed Pipe

Step 1

Purchase a dryer vent hood to use as a cap for the exposed pipe of your dryer vent. The openings of dryer vent hoods have mesh or cage-like coverings to keep out animals.

Step 2

Hold the hood over the exposed pipe and use the electric drill to drill two starter holes through the sides of the hood and into the siding. One hole goes on each side of the hood.

Step 3

Insert two wood screws using a drill into the holes, one in each hole. This will hold the hood against the house, over the pipe.

Step 4

Apply a thin bead of caulk around the edge of the hood to keep out water. Let the caulk dry according to the application directions.

Old, Exposed Vent Hood

Step 1

Purchase a roll of hardware cloth if your dryer vent has a hood without a mesh or cage-like covering over the opening.

Step 2

Measure the width and height of the hood, and add 3 inches to each measurement. Use sharp scissors to cut a piece of hardware cloth that fits your measurements, plus the 3 inches.

Step 3

Hold the hardware cloth over the hood so that it covers the hood completely.

Step 4

Insert eight screws through the hardware cloth and into the wall using an electric drill. Put four screws in each of the corners of the cloth, and four screws through the middle of each straight edge.