Raccoon in the Chimney - What to Do
Identifying The Entry Point For The Raccoon
How To Remove A Raccoon In The Chimney - There are few animals that are as good at climbing as the raccoon, and if you are finding that you have a problem with pest animals in the chimney, it is often the case that it is a raccoon that is causing the issue. From scampering up walls and over the roof to the type of damage that a raccoon can cause, there are several problems that a raccoon can cause once it has access to the chimney, and it is certainly better to catch the animal early where possible. The type of damage that is caused by a raccoon in the chimney is also a major concern, and it is very important to have the chimney examined before using it after having a raccoon infestation in the chimney.
Although in the majority of cases you will find that the raccoon is getting in to the chimney through the opening at the top of the chimney, it is important to check as the damage that will need to be considered if the raccoon is getting in through any other hole will need careful consideration. If you observe the chimney and the raccoon is clearly finding its way in to the chimney from another point, you will need to consider the repairs to the chimney liner, along with the potential for smoke and sparks escaping within the wall cavities of the property.
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Do Not Light A Fire In The Fireplace!
The first step that many people will look to take if they have animals in the chimney is often the wrong thing to do, and you certainly don't want to be opening the damper and lighting a fire in the fireplace. The first factor is that if there is a raccoon in the chimney then there is likely to be debris, while in some cases the animal might fall directly down the chimney into the fireplace, which would be terrible for the raccoon. Even if the animals don't fall down the chimney, they are unlikely to be able to climb out of the chimney safely, and being roasted inside the chimney is not a pleasant end for any animal.
Trapping The Raccoon
When it comes to catching the raccoon that is causing the problem, because there is only ever going to be one entry and exit point for the animal, trapping the raccoon in this situation is actually quite straightforward. A standard cage trap can either be mounted at the top of the chimney, or near wherever the animal is getting in and out of the chimney, and a tunnel made of chicken wire should be made leading the raccoon from the exit hole into the trap. This means the animal has no choice but to be caught in the trap, which means they can then be dealt with.
Looking For Baby Raccoons In The Chimney
If you are dealing with a raccoon problem during the mating season, you will often hear the tell tale noises of baby raccoons inside the chimney itself. Even if you don't hear them, it is best to have a good look down the chimney to ensure there aren't any there before lighting the fire again, as removing them now is better than finding their carcasses later on. Because they are often lodged in difficult locations within the chimney, a grabber tool will often need to be used in order to take the baby raccoons out of the chimney and to reunite them with their mother, so they can be relocated.
Cleaning And Repairing The Chimney Before Use
Whether you have had a raccoon, bird or squirrel infestation in your chimney, before you go back to using the chimney make sure that you have had the chimney examined and cleaned, and any repairs have been carried out. You will often find that the chimney lining has been damaged, particularly if the raccoons have been there for some time. It is also common to find pieces of debris falling down into the fireplace when the damper is opened and the chimney is cleaned, left there by the animals.
Preventing Raccoons From Getting Back Into The Chimney
If the raccoons were getting into the chimney through a hole in the masonry, it is important to make sure that is properly sealed so that no more raccoons can get to the chimney through the same hole. When the raccoons are getting in through the opening at the top of the chimney, it is important to install a chimney top to prevent animals from being able to get in. These chimney tops are simple metal devices that still allow the smoke to flow out well, but stops anything from being able to get in to the chimney.
Go back to the main Raccoon Removal
page for more information about what to do if you have raccoons in your chimney. Do you hear scratching sounds in the chimney or fireplace? Is there a dead raccoon stuck in the chimney cavity creating a smell or odor?
Or maybe a nest of baby raccoon in the chimney. Can they cause damage, and how do you get raccoon out of the chimney?