A gable vent is a vent that often sits at the peak of the roof on the front wall of most older Midwestern houses. The vent is designed to allow airflow through the attic, which in those times would be finished with a floor so items could be stored. These vents were not of good construction, often being made from wood, if you own an older house like one of these then you will want to either seal up that gable yourself or call in a professional to do it because that gable is a welcome matt to every animal in the area.
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Most animals have teeth sharp enough that they can chew through wood, especially thin wood like the vents themselves. Getting in is no problem for a raccoon, a squirrel or even a mouse. Once the vent has been broken more animals can come to join the party. Birds will start nesting in your attic along with the raccoons and squirrels and mice running around in your walls. It’s more than clear that an old wooden gable is not something you should leave unchanged on your home.
Now the most common pest to enter an attic is the common squirrel. Squirrels mate twice a year, once at the end of the winter and once in late summer. When this happens they tend to look for the safest place possible to raise their babies, and that place is usually your attic. They will find a place to enter into the attic and then make a nest, they will then bring a male in and mate with him and then aggressively kick him out of the nest. She will then collect as much food as she can and hunker down and give birth. Once she has given birth, getting rid of her becomes far more difficult.
Now there are solutions to this egregious infestation. There is a variety of options. If you want to do it yourself and you don’t want to replace the gable because it is old and a part of the original house and it likely looks very nice, you can simply go inside the attic and attach a piece of steel mesh to the inside of the vent, it won’t protect the vest from being damaged by animals but it will prevent the animals from getting into your attic. This is the least effective choice. Doing a layer on the outside would ruin the look of the gable but would keep the animals out and protect the gable from damage. There is another option though, one that will not totally ruin the look of the gable but still protect it and the attic from wild animals. It is called a gable cage or a gable cover. It is a steel mesh-like cage device made of solid steel which is impenetrable to all but the strongest of wild animals, that can be placed over the gable to protect it permanently.