It’s a sound no homeowner wants to hear – the tell-tale scratching or rustling that indicates an animal has gotten into a chimney. Living in an area surrounded by wildlife, raccoons, squirrels, birds, rats, and other animals can sometimes find their way into chimneys or attics when looking for a warm, protected place to hide or nest.
Unfortunately, animals that find their way in are often unable to get back out of the chimney again. Because of this, it is extremely important to call a licensed company who can not only safely and humanely remove the animals, but also repair damage and prevent them from getting into the chimney again.
How do animals get in?
The most common way for animals to get into a fireplace is through an uncapped chimney. Even caps that are damaged or broken can provide adequate space for small birds, rodents, or squirrels to squeeze through. Animals often mistake chimneys for hollow trees, causing them to attempt to nest inside.
Raccoons are often the only animals able to climb the slick walls of a chimney, and are therefore able to enter and exit at their own leisure. Other animals are not so lucky, and may become stuck inside the chimney structure. Trapped animals will sound more frantic , scratching at the damper or flapping their wings repeatedly in an effort to get out. Denning or nesting animals may be heard only occasionally; however, homeowners may be able to hear the babies crying within the chimney. Likewise, if the damper is open, small animals or birds might fall into and become trapped in the fireplace itself.
How can I get animals out?
As many small mammals and birds can carry diseases, it is recommended not to attempt to remove them by hand. If animals have gotten into the fireplace, chimney, attic, or other areas of the home, the best course of action is to contact a certified wildlife rescue company to safely remove the animals. Coopertown Services is licensed by both the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and the National Wildlife Control Operators Association to handle nuisance wildlife situations such as these.
Under no circumstances should a homeowner attempt to “smoke out” a trapped animal. The fumes, gasses, and smoke from a fire are toxic to most animals. In addition, a sparks could inadvertently ignite any nesting materials present in the chimney. Instead, homeowners should look for a company such as Coopertown Services that are able to safely remove animals without harming or killing them.
How can I prevent this from happening again?
While a properly maintained chimney cap can prevent animals from falling into or nesting in a chimney structure, there are dozens of other ways raccoons, squirrels, birds, or other wildlife can enter a home. Because of this, it is important to have the entire home evaluated if animals are found in the attic, basement, crawlspace, or other areas of the home.
Once the animals have been removed, technicians from Coopertown Services take an average of 10-12 hours to both search and secure a home against future wildlife. Rather than using materials that animals can chew or gnaw through, all gaps are sealed with stainless steel mesh and screws. In addition, Coopertown Services offers a one year warranty on all seals, as well as an option to extend the life of the existing warranty year after year.
With over 35 years of experience removing nuisance wildlife and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Coopertown Services is highly qualified to not only humanely remove animals, but also ensure they are not able to return.