Squirrel in the Chimney
A squirrel fell down the chimney and was heard making noise above the fireplace. When the damper was opened, there was no squirrel. An investigation on the roof and the existing chimney cap revealed that this
round metal chimney has an inner and outer flu, and that the squirrel had fallen down in between the two. The outer flu is build as a sort of heat guard or firewall, but for some reason the caps rarely cover
this pipe. It's open at the top, and squirrels, looking for a nice place to live, crawl down. Alas, they can't climb back up the slick metal, and they get stuck. There's no way to get at them - they're encased
between two layers of steel, encased in a chimney column. This is the only way to solve the problem:
The chimney cap only covers the inner flu, leaving the outer "firewall" flu exposed, and a squirrel fell down.
I lower a thick end-weighted rope down the outer flu, allowing the squirrel to climb out.
After it climbed out, I installed this steel mesh to prevent this from happening again.
Here's a shot of me with a squirrel that I got using my rope system.
For more squirrel removal information, go back to the squirrel removal page.
If you don't live in Orlando FL, click here for the National Directory of Wildlife Trappers.
How To Keep Squirrels Away From Your Chimney -
One of the questions that home owners ask more often about pests (especially in the suburbs and the country) is how to keep squirrels away from your chimney. That is
a great question especially considering the damage that squirrels can make in your home. Repellents are really not as effective as they claim to be so the options are
really limited, but that does not mean that they are non-existent. Squirrels are attracted to your chimney because it offers shelter, so if you take away access, then
you will keep the squirrels out.
How to keep squirrels out of your chimney? First you should make sure that there is no entry point for the squirrels. Keep in mind that squirrels and other rodents
can fit in very small spaces, so if your chimney is wide open up top, then you need to plug it right away. Install a metal chimney cap with steel mesh that they can't
squeeze through, and install it on the top of the flu, over the opening, bolted tight on, so there are no gaps. It's also a good idea to go around your home a few
times and inspect every part of the roof to make sure that you did not miss anything. Keeping the food away means not leaving the garbage outside overnight especially
in a plastic bag. Make sure that your children or even you do not feed squirrels because they are not pets. Food will keep them coming back, and an open chimney flu
is just an invitation to climb in and make itself at home.
How To Remove A Squirrel in the Fireplace -
Depending on where you live and what the squirrel population is in the area you may want to know how to remove a squirrel from the home. Removing the squirrel
depends on which part of the home the squirrel is in, but letís consider for the sake of argument that the squirrel came down the chimney, through an open damper,
into the fireplace, and is now in the living room. If you left the door open and a squirrel came in then you want to remove it by encouraging it to go to the door or out a window. Most squirrels will not need much encouragement after the humans have come in the area; they are nervous wrecks and will want to get away.
So how do you remove a squirrel by encouragement? Encouragement does not mean placing food by the exit, instead it means using your body language to push it without actually touching it. Place yourself behind the squirrel trying to give it room to run towards the exit. If mere movement is not enough to get the squirrel to move then make some noise by banging on pots and pans, or simply speaking loudly. The squirrel will usually choose to leave as fast as possible. If nothing works then you can try calling animal control, but it will probably not be necessary.
Here's a customer story about this exact situation: "Hi David, I believe we talked on the phone a couple of months ago because I knew squirrels were jumping over to my chimney from a tree close to the house and I had found your website here online. I thought they had stopped after I rattled
the flu every day when I heard them. Then, all of a sudden I had an infestation of flies in the house!! What??? That went on for a week or more, then they were gone, too. My exterminator thought something had died in the house or I
had rotten fruit somewhere but I later deduced it was a squirrel that died in the chimney and there was just no odor. No, it must have been a darn squirrel or dead babies or something. Now, tonight, while downstairs, I hear scratching
noises like little paws inside the chimney. I rattled the flew again but I think they're stuck down in the lower part of the chimney and can't get out. Yikes!! Don't want more flies again. Will you please give me a call tomorrow,
Monday, (or tonight if you get this message this evening) and let me know when you can come to Winter Springs to help me out? I'll be here most of the day. You can call anytime. I look forward to hearing from you. Candy"
Here's a link to Westchester County Animal Control, in case you live in that area. If not, check out my directory, serving several hundred USA cities and towns.