How Do Animals Get Inside Household Appliances?


Your home appliances may stop working due to many reasons. In most cases, it’s due to a technical issue or a worn-out component. However, other times, it may be caused by an animal. For instance, a raccoon can get into your dryer vent and damage it. You can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire pros to fix it for you. Let’s check out how animals get inside household appliances.

The Discussion

1. Gaps at the back of stoves and refrigerators – City dwellers don’t usually have a lot of problems with wildlife. Instead, they have to deal with common pests that get into your home appliances. For instance, your stove and refrigerator have plenty of gaps at the back to allow entry for rats and other small pests to get in. If the refrigerator has vent holes or empty spaces, rats won’t have any problem squeezing through.

2. Vents on washing machines and dryers – On the other hand, there’s a different category of home appliances that experience a lot of problems from wild animals. These include appliances in the laundry room, your washer, and a dryer. Washers and dryers often have vents connecting to the outside of your home. 

During the winter season when food is scarce, and the harsh cold is trying to kill wildlife, raccoons, bats and other small critters may make their way into your home appliance through the exhaust vents. Those vents push out warm gasses and are a perfect refuge for those small critters. Even if those animals don’t enter your household appliance and just make their nest on the vent, they can spread a lot of diseases.

3. Damage caused by animals – Unlike most other animals, rodents like rats and squirrels keep growing their incisors. That’s because they gnaw on things in search of food and wear down their teeth. When those rodents come across electrical and thermal insulation commonly found in household appliances, their instincts scream at them to go on a gnawing spree. This can cause severe electrical risks, shorts, and insulation problems. Moreover, animals may die in those hot places and increase the risk of fire.

Apart from damaging your appliances and electrical wiring, animals that get into your household appliances can also spread all kinds of diseases. They poop, urinate and breed in those places. In that process, they spread tapeworms, salmonella, and dangerous diseases like hantavirus and leptospirosis. That’s not the end of it. When those rodents die in your household appliances, they rot and create a bio-hazard zone. That’s why it’s important to deal with the rodents before they can even get into your household appliances.

4. Usual animal entry points – Usually, there are a few common entry points every home has to invite these rodents. These include entry points on the roof caused by missing shingles or warped siding. They can also enter through gaps created near basements where the building material meets pipes, cables, and vents that go out of the house.

The attic is also an amazing entry point for bats, raccoons, squirrels, rats, and other types of critters. During the winter, the chimney can also become an attractive entry point for those pests. You also need to make sure to plug out cracks and gaps in other parts of your home to prevent entry for those critters.    

5. Gather the necessary tools and understand the local wildlife – Apart from the usual entry points, there may be other entry points in your home. To find them, you need to gather the necessary tools. Get a ladder so that you can go to the roof and evaluate shingles, slabs, and vents. If you’re inspecting the basement or the attic, you’ll need a strong flashlight to light up those dark corners. If you find anything suspicious, click pictures so that you can share them with a local wildlife removal specialist.

A basic understanding of the local wildlife can also help you find and plug potential entry points in your home. It helps you prepare for an intrusion. Study the preferred hidden places of bats, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals around your home. After you understand the local wildlife, you can consult a local wildlife specialist and set traps strategically around your home to catch those pests.  

6. Look for droppings and gnawing and block entry points – Rodents leave signs of their presence everywhere. If you find signs of chewing or gnawing in or around your home, you should start looking for entry points nearby. The same goes for dropping and dried urine. While larger animals like raccoons and possums require large entry points like vents, rats can get through holes as small as a quarter inch in diameter. 

That’s why you need to make sure to remove all the potential entry points under doors, near roof tiles, around pipes and vents, or other gaps throughout the home. If you find small holes, you can plug them out with steel wool or just spray foam latex to increase the insulation of your home.

7. Pest control and preventative measures – Pests are attracted to the smell of food. So if you have crumbs and other food debris lying around the kitchen or in any other parts of your home, you may attract those pests. That’s why you need to clean that mess as quickly as it’s created. You may also hide cords, wires, and cables around your home clips and concealed surge protectors.

Finally, you need to use traps if you find any signs of pests in your home. You can use peppermint oil soaked in cotton balls around your home to deter rats from making your home their own little sanctuary. If the pest problem is alarming enough, you may need the help of professionals. 


As a homeowner, you need to keep a watchful eye to keep pests out of your home and the appliances inside it. Look out for pest entry points and hire pest control if necessary. If your dryer is broken due to damage caused by animals, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you.