There are a lot of animal lovers out there who enjoy watching the birds and squirrels play around in their back yards. Then, there are those who like animals but curse the squirrel that keeps getting into the bird feeder. There are also those who would rather not have anything at all to do with these critters. No matter how much a person likes or dislikes animals, no one wants those animals to make their way into their chimney. That is where a chimney cap comes in handy.
Most chimney caps will included a wire netting that wraps around the sides of the cap and serves as a barrier to animals that may like to make a home in your chimney. However, if your chimney cap does not have such a barrier or if that barrier’s strength has been compromised, one of those pesky critters may just find their way down your chimney. If this happens, more than likely it will be in the warmer months when the chimney is not in use. Hopefully your chimney damper is closed during this time and in good condition with a tight seal so that the animal will not find its way further into your home. Note, however, the bigger animals like raccoons may be able to open certain types of chimney dampers if they are so tempted to do so.
If you hear a critter shuffling about within your chimney, then evicting the animal should take place as soon as possible. Small animals such as squirrels may be trapped in a metal chimney liner by accident. Once they crawl, or fall, down the chimney, they will be trapped because the chimney liner is not made for animals to grab on to with their claws. If this happens, then getting the animals out can be a little tricky. You will have to provide a way for the animal to crawl out. For small animals, this can be accomplished by feeding a piece of thick rope down the chimney liner and attaching it to something at the top of the chimney. Wait a little while and, hopefully, the squirrel will makes its way out. Once you are certain that the critter is gone and you no longer hear the scuffling within the chimney, be sure to replace or install a chimney cap with wire netting around it to prevent further problems.
Some animals, such as raccoons can climb in and out of your chimney with no problems for they are big enough to use their bodies as leverage. More than likely, if you have an animal like a raccoon in your chimney, then you may have a nest and there may be some babies involved as well. There are odor-deterrents such as predator urine that can help get rid of some pests. However, you will more than likely have to smell these as well. There are also special traps that will trap an animal as it exits the chimney liner as well. Once the mother is caught, you can usually reach up through your fireplace to remove the babies and nest, which will probably be on the smoke shelf. Also, you can scare the mother out and then grab the babies. Then, you can use the babies as bait for the mother in a live trapping device. Be sure to check the laws in your area, for in some areas, it is illegal in some areas to trap animals such as raccoons.
Another common pest that you may see in chimneys is bats. Chimneys make a wonderful place for bats for it will be nice and dark and provide the tight comfy feeling that they feel safe in. If you think you have bats in your chimney, or if you have seen or heard the bats within you chimney, then a professional bat expert should be contacted. Bat extermination is not the kind of thing that you need here, for bats can be small and very hard to see in dark places such as chimneys, so if there are dead bats left in your chimney after you think you retrieved all of them, then there could be other problems. The best thing to do would be to contact a bat removal specialist.
No matter what kind a critter you have inhabiting your chimney, the immediate evacuation of that animal should be the first thing on your to-do list. If you hear animals moving about in your chimney, then be sure the damper is closed and secure, otherwise you will have a pest problem that started in your chimney and has now spread into your home. If you are timid to remove the animal(s) yourself, call a pest removal expert. Chances are the expert will have special traps that are made just for trapping animals in chimneys or other such specialized removal methods. Once the animal is out of your chimney, be sure to install a good chimney cap that will keep more animals from getting in.