Wildlife Removal From a Chimney

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Author – Chad Murray

Wildlife removal from a chimney is common to homeowners who do not have a chimney cap. It is even possible if they have an old cap or a decaying chimney.

Wildlife has an amazing ability to seize every opportunity available when it comes to a living space. Some wildlife has even adapted to live in chimneys. Take for example the creatively named bird, the “chimney swift”. It even has the word “chimney” in its name. Other common chimney invaders are raccoons, squirrels, ducks, bats, and the occasional snake. It is amazing that when a homeowner has an animal in a chimney some do not think to call a chimney service for removing it.

They call pest control companies, wildlife removal companies (ok if they sell chimney caps), roofers, and masons. Why?  No one knows the anatomy of a chimney as well as a chimney professional. You don’t call a bakery to cook you a steak, you call them for a cake. Wildlife removal from a chimney can become tricky due to the restricted space available to work in. Chimney professionals have the knowledge and tools to work in this restricted space.

There are many methods of removing wildlife from chimneys. Imagine the difference in removing a live duck compared with removing a mother raccoon as she baby-sits her offspring.

Raccoons have found crawling down chimney flues and living on smoke shelves is a comfortable place to live. The anatomy of a chimney suits the raccoon very well. The size of the smoke shelf is perfect for the size of a raccoon making a great living space. 

Female raccoons give birth on smoke shelves. Homeowners need to have the raccoons removed from the chimney as soon as possible. Best practice for removing a mother raccoon is to remove her from the chimney. Then, get the pups and put them in a box with a towel for them to sit on. Set the box in the shade near the base of the chimney. The mother raccoon will come back and relocate the litter to another location.

The chimney swift bird cannot be removed from the chimney due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If you happen to get chimney swifts in your chimney, you must act fast before they completely build their nest. If the chimney swifts lay their eggs then the Migratory Bird Treaty Act goes into affect. You cannot remove the birds until the hatchlings have left the nest and begun to leave the chimney. Typically, once the eggs are layed until you can remove the nest is 6-8 weeks later.

Squirrel are the most work to remove if they decide to take up residence in your chimney. Have you ever looked up into the trees in the winter an noticed large twig nests, that’s a squirrels nest. Now imagine that twig nest packing your chimney from the damper to the top of the chimney. This can be expensive to remove and a major fire hazard if you lit a fire and didn’t notice it was in the chimney.

All of these situations and animals could be prevented from entering the chimney by having a chimney cap installed.

Chad Murray, Certified Chimney Professional, says a full coverage chimney cap is the best cap to install. Full coverage chimney caps not only keep out wildlife but offer almost 100% of damaging moisture fron entering the flue. Flue caps are ok, but do not keep out enough moisture to stop deterioration of the chimney componants like a full coverage chimney cap.

Chimney professionals should be the first to contact for a wildlife removal from a chimney.  Phillip Diotte, Masters Services, says it is common to get a call to assist a non-chimney professional with a Denver wildlife removal. The customer could have saved money by calling him first instead of a roofer.

Don’t call a roofer for a  Dallas wildlife removal or a Houston wildlife removal either. 

Keeping your fireplace and chimney inspected and serviced every year is always the best method of not needing a wildlife removal from your chimney. A good conditioned chimney and chimney cap illiminates any need for a wildlife removal from a chimney.

~ Chad Murray

~ Asking for Chimney Information ~

After reading an article, you can ask a question about that article. Replies will come from Chimney Professionals, and sometimes from homeowners, who are giving their answer based on the information you provide. Remember that they are providing answers SIGHT and SITE unseen! 

CHIMNEYS.COM recommends that you use these comments to better inform yourself to discuss your chimney and venting issues with a professional whom you call to your home to evaluate the issue.

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