Many of the same cute little critters we love seeing videos of on the internet are also considered pests. Raccoons, squirrels, and more of those silly bandits can hide out in your chimney, while birds can get stuck inside or nest atop the chimney. You may love finding and sharing images of some of these animals online, but when they get into your chimney, you can start to worry.
Some chimney technicians, like many of the members of our team, specialize in animal removal from chimneys. Some animals will require the help of animal rescue services to remove. Others will require you to allow them to stay and camp out until they migrate on their own, but there are things you can do to prevent this in the first place. Read on to learn a bit more about how animal removal works when it comes to chimneys.
Removing Critters from the Inside of the Chimney
In order to remove an animal who has settled into a chimney, like a racoon, you’ll usually have to set a trap. An experienced animal removal specialist will know which traps are safest for both the animal and the chimney, and whether to let the critter loose or call authorities.
Sometimes, we have to rescue animals who are stuck in the chimney (rather than those who are trying to settle down). For squirrels and similar rodents, we can often just lower a rope into the chimney to offer the squirrel a way to climb out. In any case, it’s best to call in a trained technician.
It’s not exactly pleasant to discuss, but rodents and birds in the chimney could get stuck and, unfortunately, die. You may not notice until there are odors, but from there, you definitely need to act fast. Technicians can come to clean out the chimney, as it should be done once every year. Not only does this get rid of the unpleasantry, but it can also help to prevent chimney fires.
When birds get stuck in the chimney, it often takes some strategy to help get them out, like closing off the chimney cap and opening a damper to let them through the fireplace. When birds nest on the chimney, it’s a different story.
Many nesting birds, such as the troublesome chimney sweep, are actually protected species. That means that you cannot move them until they choose to leave on their own for the winter.
Preventing Critter Infestations
If you want to prevent critters from crawling into your chimney, or birds from nesting atop the chimney, the best thing you can do is install a chimney cap. A cap blocks off the top opening of your chimney, and creates an environment that’s not exactly welcoming to nesting birds. A chimney cap helps to prevent water damage as well, and it’s something we recommend to any chimney and fireplace owner.