The sound of scratching or scurrying from the chimney is a noise no homeowner wants to hear. During the winter and spring, many birds andsquirrel small mammals will try to take shelter in chimneys; safe, dark, enclosed, and protected, chimneys are an ideal location for animals to escape the elements, hide from predators, or build nests. Unfortunately, animals can also cause significant damage to our chimney systems.

I think I hear an animal in the chimney. Now what?

Scratching or crying sounds from the chimney, debris that falls into the firebox when the damper is opened, or unpleasant odors are all signs that an animal has gotten into the chimney. While it is relatively easy for animals to get it, most animals become trapped and disoriented in the chimney. Because of this, it is important to try and have them humanely removed as soon as possible. The following tips can help you if you think there is an animal in the chimney.

  • Do not try to smoke them out. One of the most common – and most dangerous – pieces of advice is to smoke out a trapped animal. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite of the desired effect; opening the damper to start a fire can cause animals to fall down into the firebox while the smoke and heat can further confuse and disorient animals.
  • Contact a wildlife rescue group. Homeowners should never try to remove animals themselves. Trapped animals, especially nesting mothers, can feel threatened and bite or scratch as they are being removed. Likewise, animals can carry a variety of diseases that can be spread through saliva or droppings. Instead, contact organizations such as the National Wildlife Control Operators Association  [for help in finding a certified wildlife rescue group.
  • Call a chimney sweep. Removing the animals from the chimney only represents half the battle. Animal entry can cause damage from the top of the flue to the bottom of the firebox. In addition to repairing the animal’s point of entry, a certified chimney sweep can assess and repair any damage the animal caused in the chimney.

Contact Coopertown Services for humane animal removal

Living in an area surrounded by a variety of animals, the chimney technicians at Coopertown Services are specially trained and licensed to aid in wildlife removal. We have been removing squirrels, birds, raccoons, and more from chimneys since 1978, making us the longest-running animal removal company in the Memphis area.

We specialize in humane – and permanent – animal removal. Our technicians take up to 12 hours to find, remove, repair, and secure a home against future animal entry. We are so confident that our techniques will keep animals out that we offer a one-year guarantee against animal entry with an option to renew the guarantee year after year in the future.

Don’t let animal entry prevent you from using your fireplace – or permanently damage your chimney. Contact Coopertown Services today to schedule an appointment to have animals safely, humanely, and permanently removed from your home, attic, or chimney.