Ask the Woodchucks: August 10, 2017

Question: Am puzzled and concerned as to how and when I can get the birds out of my two bathroom exhaust vents. I hear the scratching each morning and see them going in and out of the vent flaps.

Answer: Those louvers cover one of the vents from your house. It is either a bathroom vent, an oven vent, or a dryer vent. The birds have found these vents very convenient and safe places to build a nest and raise a family. The best solution is called a Pest Barricade and is available at most big box home stores. It is a plastic cage-like structure that will fit over most 3” and 4” vent caps and will not allow birds to enter. It is held on with two screws which can be removed to clean the barricade. Before installing the barricade, check inside the vent and remove any nests or birds.

They could be located as much as ten feet inside the duct. If you find that a nest is that far in, you will have to go up into the attic and disconnect the duct to remove the nest. If you are covering a dryer vent, you MUST remove it and clean the lint build up once a year. If you have more than one vent, you should install Pest Barricades on each one. You will then be free of unwanted bird families.

Question: My front door hardware does not work (Handle does not open the door when pressed down). I can get a new handle however, I have not been able to get one with the handicapped handle on the inside. Do you have any idea where I can find this item that will line up or come with the front door handle. (My reason is I don’t want the turn-knob as the closet is 3 feet away and has a gold handicapped knob.)

Answer: I checked on the internet and there are many of the handles you are looking for. Another option is to buy a new handle by the same manufacturer without the handicap inside handle and put your current handle on the inside. All of the mechanism that opens the latch on your door will come with your new lock-set.

If you have suggestions for future tips or have questions about maintenance around your home submit them to ask.the.woodchucks@gmail.com.

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