Animal Removal

Nuisance wild animal services.

Animals In Chimney

Raccoons, Opossums, Squirrels, Bats, Birds, Chimney Swifts, and Snakes.

While it is a common misconception that animals accidentally fall down chimneys, that is just not the case. Animals that enter a chimney usually have a reason.

4 most common reasons:
  • Mother raccoons will use a masonry chimney to make her nest and harbor her young.
    A male raccoon will only enter a chimney to kill the baby raccoons because he looks upon them as competitors. The burnt smell of a chimney reminds a raccoon of a burned out hollow tree which would be considered a part of their natural habitat. For most animals it is difficult to climb back out of a chimney once they have gotten in there. The raccoon is one of the only ones that can easily climb back out.
  • Chimney swifts use chimneys to build their nests. Much like the raccoon, chimney swifts are accustomed to using hollow trees for their homes. Chimney swifts are the only birds that can fly straight up, so chimney swifts are the only birds with the ability to fly out of a chimney. Chimney swifts are federally protected birds and should only be handled by professionals who know the laws involved and the special considerations that need to be taken.
  • Scared wild animals such as squirrels, and opossums will in lots of instances scurry down a chimney when a bad storm is coming. The problem with this is that once the storm has passed the critters find themselves stuck.
  • Snakes enter the chimney with one thing in mind and one thing only. They are predators, and they enter with an appetite, an appetite for eggs, baby birds, and baby animals.
From this situation only one of three things can happen:
  • The animal could be rescued (preferably by a professional).
  • The damper is open and the critter finds its way into the fireplace, and if the homeowner doesn’t have glass doors, well now you have a guest in your home. Hence, the term nuisance wild animal.
  • Or, left to its own unrescued, it will slowly and painfully die. This should never be an option because it is not only inhumane, but now you have a larger problem. A dead animal in your home poses all kinds of problems from long lasting terrible odors to potential health issues, to a more difficult and more expensive problem to solve.

While all wild animals carry some risks with contact, some have more serious risks than others. Raccoons have the highest percentage of rabies of any land animal, some studies have concluded that over 50% of raccoons carry rabies. Of all the flying animal species, bats are the most likely carrier of rabies.

Also, with the larger animals such as raccoons and opossums, they can cause extensive damage to masonry liners, metal and masonry, as well as the smoke shelf, damper, flue tiles, and mortar joints. The damage could be minor, or life threatening, if the integrity of the smoke chamber has been jeopardized.

A very important fact to remember, is that wild animals have way stronger scent than humans. Once an animal gets in your chimney, that scent will last for a very long time. And animals will keep coming back to that smell if they can time after time. A Chimney should only be worked on by professionals. There are lots of ways to barricade or block an entry point to keep animals out.

But, keep in mind this winter you may want to safely use your fireplace and chimney. And with ARC Chimney Sweeps, we have over 15 combined years of humane animal removal coupled with years of experience repairing fireplaces and chimneys.

Be safe when choosing a professional. Some things to consider; will the extraction be humane, will the company know how to address any particular health issues, such as mites, lice, or insects left behind. Bat droppings, known as guano, harbor a fungus that can release spores into the air spreading diseases such as histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis. These diseases can be fatal, especially with the elderly, the young, or anyone with a weak immune system.

  • Will the company be able to inspect the affected areas for structural integrity?
  • Will the company have the product knowledge and experience to professionally fix and restore your chimney and fireplace to a safe working condition?

When it comes to your fireplace and chimney, ARC Chimney Sweeps of Pensacola, FL is the company to call for humane animal removal, proper clean up, thorough inspections, and the ability and experience to solve and repair any situation so your fireplace and chimney system is yours again.