What to do about a squirrel in the fireplace

The worst thing you can do when you think you have a squirrel in the fireplace is turn on the fire. We're sure you don't want to kill the furry little creature, regardless of how much the noise is annoying you. Plus, the smell would be awful. Do you really want that in your home? You should take a peek at your fireplace - if you open the dampener, can you release the squirrel? If that's the case, could you safely do so into a cage? If you can't do that, can you open the dampener and then leave the room, shutting the door and perhaps opening a window? The squirrel might scurry out of its own accord. If it doesn't, at least the beast is contained in one room. You can call wildlife control to come and remove the squirrel now, or you could place a live cage trap in the room, baited with something tasty. If these options aren't feasible, it's time to head on up to the roof. You'll need a ladder and a torch preferably a head torch, and always make sure you have someone spotting you - watching that ladder. Your safety is important. If you can't do the job safely and humanely, call in the professionals to do it for you. From above, you can see whether or not the squirrel is injured, or if it can get out. Smooth, metal chimney flus have a surface the squirrel can't use its claws to grab on to, and by lowering rope, material, or even wood down the chute, you can give the squirrel something to crawl up and scamper out of it.

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When an urban squirrel is looking for a place to build a nest, a chimney looks like a huge place for the squirrel to live. It reminds them of a big, weatherproof and well constructed hollow tree! More than likely, the squirrel checking out your chimney is a female looking for a safe place to build her nest and raise her baby squirrels. While a squirrel in your yard might be fun to watch, in your chimney they are a menace to your home, and can be a health hazard as well. Even though Squirrels are nature's own amazing acrobats, there have been many instances where even a squirrel will fall down the slick metal shaft called chimney flu, plus get stuck inside. If you don't take steps to help, the squirrel will most likely die a slow death down there. Here is what you should do: Locate the squirrel inside the flu

Is the squirrel is in the main flu, or has it become stuck between the insulating metal walls and the chimney proper? The easiest way to do this is to climb up to your chimney and inspect the cap. You should be able to see where it fell down.

Figure out your plan
If it fell down in between the inner lining and outer flu, you may have no choice but to call a professional. Your only chance of helping the squirrel to freedom is to drop it a line like a rope that it can easily grip. Be sure to weight the end, and have it long enough that when you drop it down the gap it reaches the bottom. Once that is done, you just sit around and wait for the squirrel to climb its way out.

If the squirrel is in the regular inner section of your chimney flu, look first and decide if it's stuck, or just simply nesting there. Watch to see if it can go up in and out. If you determine that it's stuck you have two choices- use the rope trip we just told you about to let it climb out the chimney, or unlock the damper at the bottom (this will release it into your house, so be ready). If the squirrel is not trapped, then you must go decide how to use trapping or exclusion methods to get it out of your chimney. Once again, you might want to consider calling a professional at this point.

If you elect DIY and have chosen a plan, be ready. If you have decided to open the damper above the fire pit proper, decide your move as well. You must be prepared to capture the squirrel when it falls out with a snare, a gloved hand, or some type of sturdy container. If you have an enclosed fireplace with sturdy door, you can always set a lie trap inside.

Some more DIY instructions for Squirrels in (Chimneys): Remember, they may seem cuddly and be lots of fun to look at when you are sitting on your porch on a sunny day, but they lose their cuteness quick when they attack your chimney. Squirrels can be observed cavorting around all year long, but they choose stay inside their nests during the really inclement weather especially if they have gathered a large hoard of foodstuff. Squirrels livelihood in your trees is not usually a bother, but can become a danger once they invade your home, like moving in to your chimney. Not only are they noisy, dirty and destructive, they can present a health hazard to you and your animals.

Be sure to take all safety precautions like wearing a mask and gloves when trying to run you're your squirrel

Make sure you check for babies and clean up the refuse once your squirrel is gone

Take preventative measures like installing a screen cap on your chimney to prevent this from happening again.

Don't be too proud to contact professional help if you need it.

Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page, although that is a different matter than How to get squirrels out of the fireplace.

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