Facts About Squirrels and Your Chimney
If you hear squeaking, scampering, scratching or smell something strange coming from your chimney, you may have squirrels or other uninvited guests in your chimney. Squirrels are fast, agile climbers and can squeeze into just about any opening, especially an open flue. They also have sharp teeth and claws – they crack nuts for a living! And once they are inside the flue, they shelter and hunt for food and water. While squirrels find it easy to get into the chimney, getting out is not so easy. They often get trapped in the chimney and without food or water they perish. The droppings they leave behind, and the pungent odor of a decaying carcass attracts birds, rodents and other pests. Before you know it, you’ve got quite a mess and a blocked chimney flue.
Why Are Squirrels Up My Chimney?
There are several reasons why you may find squirrels in your chimney to begin with. They may be running away from predators, like dogs, cats or other animals in the neighborhood and your chimney is the first place they see. Or, the squirrel may have been chased out of its habitat by bigger squirrels or other animals and your chimney looks like a safe place to hide from predators. In the winter, squirrels look for warm and cozy environments to store food and grow their family. And to a squirrel, your chimney is as good as any tree.
Potential Risks of Having Squirrels in Your Chimney
Squirrels might look like a cute pet, but they can create a mess that may prove to be very costly. Inside the chimney, they will look for food and water. They will desperately try to escape the chimney clawing and gnawing on anything they can find. Also, like other rodents and pests they may be carrying rabies and other diseases. So, you should take precautions to protect yourself and pets from being bitten by squirrels.
How to Get Rid of Squirrels from Your Chimney
Your chimney is not a safe place for squirrels to hang out. If you suspect you have squirrels or other pests in your chimney, it is highly recommended you get professional help. Chimney Solutions will remove any squirrels in your chimney. We will also clear any chimney obstructions and repair or replace your chimney cap to prevent squirrels and other pests from taking up residence in your chimney in the future. You can also remove squirrels from the chimney yourself if you have the skills to do it safely and humanely. Your local humane society can provide tips on how to safely remove squirrels from your chimney.
Keeping Squirrels Out of the Chimney
Chimney caps are the best way to keep squirrels, moisture and debris out of the chimney. Surprisingly, not all chimneys have a chimney cap. Many older homes were built with an open flue. Also, heavy rains, wind, debris and pests can cause damage to the cap. Fortunately, chimney caps are inexpensive, easy to install and are available in a variety of aesthetic designs.