Why is There a Snake in Your Dryer Vent?
Whenever you inspect the dryer vent to have it cleaned and make sure that it isn't clogged up, you might find an unpleasant surprise, a snake! Let's hope you don't find it out by the snake biting you and instead are warned by the movement and the hissing. But, yes, a snake can very easily get into your dryer vent.
While you are probably most concerned with figuring out 'how do snakes get into dryer vents' so you can prevent it from happening again, but it's important to understand why the snakes call your dryer vent their home and how to make sure they leave it alone.
Why Do Snakes Get Into Dryer Vents?
For starters, you need to know about the two types of animals in the world. There are cold-blooded animals and those that are warm-blooded. A warm-blooded animal can regulate its body heat, and it has a constant temperature. To generate heat, the warm-blooded animals consume food and create energy. Humans are warm-blooded.
Warm-blooded animals need to consume as much food as possible to keep their temperature stable, which is the opposite of cold-blooded creatures. They take on the temperature of their surroundings. If a cold-blooded creature is in a hot environment, it will be hot as well, and if they are in a cold environment, they will be cold.
Snakes and other reptiles are cold-blooded, meaning that they seek outside sources of heat for warmth. Your dryer vent is very warm, so they will often make their home in it if you leave the screen open or have no mesh screen to deter incursions. Snakes of all kinds can get into clothing dryer vents because they are extremely flexible. It could be a common snake like a gopher snake or a venomous local snake that might cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up!
The warmth also attracts creatures such as rodents and voles, prime food for most snakes. After all, if you were in a warm environment where food just came waltzing in the door, wouldn't you make that your home too? Snakes get into your dryer vents and will often stay there and won't cause any more trouble.
Removing Snakes From Your Dryer Vent
However, you will need to evict your unwelcome houseguest eventually, and even if you can overcome the fear of handling a snake, it can still be difficult. You can either disconnect the vent cover, use tools to reach in, and attempt to pull the snake out or take care of it from the inside. You can access the vent from the inside and try to see where the snake is.
Often, you can wait the snake out because it will need to leave the dryer duct eventually, and then you can put a preventative measure into action. If you want to remove the snake, make sure to either consult a professional for some help or follow all safety measures when removing the snake yourself.
If you properly identify the snake, that might help you determine if it is poisonous, aggressive, or even beneficial to your backyard environment. The more knowledge you have about the snake you are trying to remove, the better because that will help you take the necessary precautions.
How To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Dryer Vents
One of the easiest and fastest ways to make sure that a snake does not get into your dryer vent again is to replace the vent cover. Often, a snake gets into the dryer through an open dryer vent, and you should focus on getting the vent closed up so the snakes and other animals can't come in.
However, you can't use screening to completely close up the vent because then the dryer lint will accumulate on the cover and impact your machine's use and effectiveness. We recommend investing in a louvered style dryer vent cover. These dryer vent covers open when air is flowing out and close when your dryer is not in use. This type of dryer vent cover is excellent for keeping out pests like wasps and snakes.
Why is it important to keep dryer vents clean?
Dryer vents need to be cleaned regularly to prevent a buildup of dryer lint. The buildup of lint and other debris in your dryer can create a fire hazard, which is why it's important to clean your dryer vents regularly.
According to the NFPA "The leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires were dust, fiber, or lint (27%) and clothing (26%). In washing machine fires, the leading items first ignited were electrical wire or cable insulation (26%) and appliance housing or casing (24%)."
Many dryer vent cleaning kits look similar to a plumbing snake brush can be fast an affordable and effective way to keep your dryer vents clean. Homeowners have also found success cleaning their dryer ducts using a high-powered vacuum.