As the weather warms up in spring, many curious animals are looking for places to shelter. This season, you might hear some scratching noises inside your walls. This is an indicator of squirrels in your chimney. If you think you’ve got some critters taking up residence in your chimney, don’t panic. We have some tips for how to properly handle the situation.
How Did a Squirrel Get in My Chimney?
There are a few ways squirrels can get into chimneys. One way is an accidental fall. When squirrels move between trees and buildings, they can fall into chimneys and become trapped. This happens more often than you might expect. However, squirrels sometimes intentionally make their way into chimneys looking for a safe place to nest or hide from predators.
Squirrels Can be Dangerous
Squirrels and other animals can carry bacteria, diseases, and parasites that can put your family at risk. Also, nesting materials can either block the chimney or ignite. This is very dangerous because it can cause a chimney fire. Squirrels can also fall out of the chimney themselves, and in a panic, wreak havoc around the house. For these reasons, it is very important to call an expert to safely and humanely remove the animal from your chimney.
Getting the Squirrel out of Your Chimney
The best method of removing a squirrel from your chimney is to leave it to a professional. However, if you’re set on trying the DIY route first, here are some tips to keep you and the animal safe.
DON’T EVER try and “smoke out” the animal. Not only does it typically fail, it’s also cruel. Often, squirrels are trapped in the chimney with no way out. Lighting a fire could suffocate or even burn the animal alive. Just don’t do it.
Instead, turn the volume on a tv or radio in your home up very loudly. If the squirrel is able to get out of the chimney on its own, the noise will scare it away.
If loud noises don’t drive the squirrel out, it’s probably trapped. If this is the case, you can try to provide an escape route for the squirrel. To do this, lower a long rope down your chimney (it should be long enough to reach the fireplace). The squirrel will then be able to climb up the rope and out of your chimney.
Even though these methods may be effective sometimes, it’s usually best to call a professional. An experienced Sootaway chimney technician will remove an animal quickly – and, most importantly – safely.
Preventing Animals from Getting into Your Chimney
The best method of preventing unwanted animals in your chimney is installing a chimney cap. A chimney cap covers your flue while allowing smoke and gases to escape. Also, the openings in a chimney cap are too small for animals to enter.