What Animal May Be Living in My Chimney And How To Get Rid of It?


If noises from your chimney have you wondering what’s going on in there, you could have unwelcome animals that need to be evicted.


If an animal has constructed (or will build) a nest in your chimney, it has most certainly filled it with food, waste, and possibly even kids.

“You’re opening your property exposed to threats like rabies, fleas, ticks, round worm, and bites,” says Chuck Roydhouse, proprietor of Clean Chimney Sweep of Anne Arundel County and president of the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Also, histoplasmosis, a fungus that infects the lungs and is spread by bird feces.” Any clawing or pecking animal, he adds, can harm the chimney itself.

You’ll hear a lot of rustling, clawing, scratching, and flapping if there’s an animal in your chimney. A nest of babies is indicated by chirping and sometimes sobbing. You might also smell something awful emanating from the fireplace, which is most likely feces or a decaying animal. If the damper has been left open, debris such as droppings, feathers, and nesting material will most likely be found on the fireplace floor. That’s why, during the off-season, it’s critical to keep your damper closed.

In the end, an animal will not be able to live in your chimney. It must be removed for the sake of your family’s health and safety.

Bats In the Chimney

Bats are cave dwellers who will seek out similar parts of your home, such as your chimney, to hang upside down and protect their young from predators. Bats are most active between the hours of twilight and dawn. You may see bats entering or exiting your chimney at this time, as well as hear noises inside.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Them?

Make sure the fireplace damper is completely closed before doing anything else to prevent bats from flying into your home. Identify the chimney’s entry and exit points and install an exclusion door that allows bats to fly out but not back in. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to hire an expert chimney cleaning company because there are rigorous guidelines for removing bats from your property.

Mice in the Chimney

Mice are forced to seek safe haven in places like your chimney by natural predators. Mice are generally nocturnal, so if you hear them in the middle of the night, you have mice in your chimney. If you look closely enough, you may notice tiny footprints in the ash at the bottom of the fireplace if the damper was left open.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Them?

According to Wesley Wheeler, proprietor of Bug Lord, getting rid of mice is a two-step process. To begin, determine how the mice are getting in and seal any gaps or holes. “Gaps around exhaust pipes or ventilation grilles, uncapped chimneys, and the eaves of your roof are common entryways for mice,” he explains. Steel mesh should be used to seal any problem locations. Mice can gnaw through almost anything.

The next step, according to Wheeler, is to open the damper and insert no kill traps or the standard snap-trap in or near the fireplace.

“Never use poison to harm animals in and around your chimney,” advises Zachary Smith, president of Smith’s Pest Management. It will be incredibly difficult to extricate dead animals from the chimney’s tight confines, and the odor would be unbearable!”

Birds In the Chimney

Birds will build their nests in chimneys the same way they would in a hollow tree, according to Smith. The bird may even flutter around inside the fireplace if the damper is left open.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid of Them?

A loud noise or a bright light might be used to frighten a bird away from your chimney. “Open the damper and close the fireplace doors,” suggests Kristiana Kripena of InsectCop.net, an extermination expert. “You can gently pull the bird out of the fireplace and carry it outside when it reaches the fireplace.”

Because birds can transmit parasites and infections, make sure you wear gloves and a mask and wash your hands afterward. It’s not a good idea to smoke out a bird because it could kill the bird and provide a fire danger with its nesting material. You should contact a wildlife management professional if there is a nest with eggs or babies, as certain species are protected by law.

Squirrels in the Chimney

Squirrels are incredible climbers, but they can become caught if they slide down a slick metal chimney flue. A female squirrel may also use your chimney as a location to raise her young. Acorns or other nuts may be seen on the fireplace floor if the damper is open.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid of Them?

Your best bet, according to Kripena, is to get the squirrel to return to the chimney. “Hang a thick (approximately 3/4-inch) long rope from the top of the chimney all the way down to the damper or bottom of the fireplace,” she suggests. Tie one end of the rope to the chimney’s top.

Remove the rope and cover the chimney once you’re satisfied the squirrel has gotten away. If there are any baby squirrels who are unable to crawl out, you must remove them by hand with a thick glove and deliver them outside to the mother.

Raccoons in Your Chimney

Chimneys are especially attractive to raccoons. Females will build a nest just before giving birth, and urban structures are common places for them to do so. A raccoon will build a nest on top of a closed damper if the chimney is not properly screened or covered, Smith adds. During the day, you might notice the mother leaving in search of food for her children.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid of Them?

By scaring or disturbing a raccoon, you can get rid of it without injury.

“Because raccoons are one of the rare animals that can climb up your chimney despite the slippery walls, you can play music really, really loudly,” adds Kripena.

Raccoon eviction fluid is a natural by-product of the male raccoon, which is a predator to female raccoons. The female detects a danger to her young when she is placed in a den area. It’s advisable to contact a registered nuisance wildlife management professional if none of these methods work. For more information on What Animal May Be Living in My Chimney (And How Do I Get Rid of It)? visit https://americanairducts.com/chimney-sweeping-houston-tx.

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