Spring is a season known for growth, warmer temperatures, new plants, and baby animals. Unfortunately, many nesting mothers view chimneys as they perfect hiding place for their young; this is particularly true of many species of birds who can navigate the small spaces of the chimney system.
Birds in the chimney, along with other small animals such as squirrels or raccoons, should never be ignored. While it might seem like nothing more than a minor annoyance, animals can cause damage to the chimney or expose your family to disease. Because of this, it is important to have animals removed – and the damage they cause repaired – as soon as possible.
How animals get into your chimney
Small mammals and birds can get into chimneys through even the tiniest gaps and holes; raccoons can use their claws and teeth to create large enough spaces for them to fit through. Damaged or missing chimney caps and cracked masonry around the top of the chimney are two of the most common entry points for animals to find their way into the flue.
Birds in the flue
If you wake up one morning to the sounds of scratching, flapping, or chirping coming from your chimney, the natural response is to want the birds out as soon as possible. However, some species of birds are protected and may not be able to be removed.
Chimney swifts are small, migratory birds known for nesting in chimney systems. Swifts and several other species of migratory birds are nationally protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act; this act makes it illegal to remove or destroy the nests of migratory birds until hatchlings have left the nest.
Spring animal removal
If you have birds or other animals in your chimney, it is important to call a professional who understands both chimney repairs and wild animal removal. At Coopertown Services we have more than 35 years of experience removing the wildlife unique to middle Tennessee. We are National Wildlife Control Operators Association members and are licensed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency to safely and humanely remove wild animals from your chimney.
While many animals can be removed as soon as they are found in the flue, chimney swifts and other migratory birds must be left alone until their nesting cycle is complete. For most birds, the nesting and hatching process takes around six weeks; once the young hatchlings have left the nest, we can safely remove the nests and begin repairs to the chimney.
Homeowners should never attempt to remove wildlife from the chimney themselves – especially if the animals could be federally protected migratory birds. First, many animals carry diseases; these microbes and bacteria are also present in nesting materials and droppings. Second, attempting to “smoke out” animals can also cause more harm than good. Animals often become disoriented by the smoke and heat from a fire. Dried out nesting materials can ignite and cause a chimney fire as well.
Birds, raccoons, and squirrels may be small, but they can cause serious damage throughout your chimney system. If you suspect the presence of wildlife in your chimney, contact the animal removal experts at Coopertown Services today.