What You Should Do If an Animal Gets Stuck in Your Chimney

First, it is important to identify what type of animal it is. If you hear chirping or flapping it’s probably a bird. If you hear scratching, sniffing, or clawing it is probably an animal. Once you have identified what it is you can make a plan to remove it. If it is an animal, chances are that it is either a raccoon or a squirrel. Make sure to close the damper or the glass doors on the fireplace. This will prevent them from getting into your house.

Then get some rope at least long enough to tie around the chimney and still reach the damper, and at least an inch thick. This will give the squirrel or raccoon something to grab onto to climb out of the chimney. If it is a bird it may fly out on its own or it could be a chimney swift and has made a nest there. Unfortunately, if it is a swift, it cannot be removed until the chicks are able to fly as they are federally protected. If it is not a swift and for some reason isn’t flying out, calling a professional would be your best bet.

When it comes to bat removal we heavily suggest that a professional remove them, since they carry rabies and other diseases and some are legally protected. Other wildlife is not so difficult to remove and generally has no wait time as most other wildlife we find in chimneys have no sanctions or laws about removing and relocating them such as raccoons, mice or rats, and sometimes the occasional duck. All of these can be easily relocated. and once they are, we can get to work on repairs to keep them from returning.

Once we remove them your chimney and fireplace should be cleaned and fumigated to remove any droppings that can cause health issues. Birds can carry toxins such as Histoplasma ( a fungus that causes lung disease) and animals can carry ringworm and rabies.  Although wildlife removal may be able to remove the animal from your chimney they are not going to have the equipment to clean and disinfect your fireplace system. We not only remove the animal or bird, but we will also clean and fumigate, as well as give your chimney an inspection to ensure nothing has been damaged by your unwanted visitor, and once they are, finished, they can get to work on repairs to keep them from returning  

If you have a wood-burning fireplace the best solution is to have a lock top damper installed. It is the most efficient way to keep anything out of your chimney since when closed it has a tight seal and even wind can’t get in, which is good if you live in an area known for storms as well as wildlife.  If not, though, we have conventional caps that will suit your needs and your budget. We will do our best to remove the animal safely and humanely and make sure you don’t have any other invasions of wildlife in your home.

That brings me to non-wildlife animals that tend to like a nice warm place to curl up in and that is cats and kittens. We do many rescues in the springtime and we ask that you contact either us or an animal removal company A.S.A.P, because soot and ash can get into the kittens’ lungs and cause future health problems.