How to Get a Raccoon Out of Chimney
I’m commonly asked how to get rid of raccoons in the chimneys. It’s my job to remove critters from homes, and this is one of the cases that I deal with. It all starts when a homeowner hears noises in the chimney, usually just above the fireplace. Sometimes the homeowner knows that it’s raccoons – due to visual confirmation of the animal climbing into the roof, and sometimes they don’t know at all. It could also be squirrels. Of course raccoons usually sound bigger and louder than squirrels, but the acoustics of the chimney and fireplace are more relevant than the animal, so it can be hard to tell.
Why do raccoons go into chimneys? Mostly because it’s like a big, hollow tree. It’s a safe place in which to live, and for a female raccoon, it’s a great place to give birth and raise a litter of baby raccoon pups. Raccoons are great climbers, so they have no problem climbing up and down the chimney flu, and off and on the roof to access the chimney in the first place.
How to Get a Raccoon Out of the Chimney: Professional wildlife removal experts use a special trapping system that mounts directly to the top of the chimney flu. Some use a special pole-and-trap system that forces the adult raccoon up and out and into the trap. The young raccoons, above the fireplace damper, are removed via mirror and hand removal or snare removal. It’s dangerous to try to get the young if the mom is still in the chimney, because she might attack. It’s also possible to get the young when she is out foraging, and seal the chimney with a proper steel chimney cap. Or, you can trap the mom in a cage trap on the roof or the ground near the climbing point, and then remove the young. There are a number of options. However, whatever you do, do not start a fire, as this will result in you needing to open the damper, and the scared raccoon possibly jumping into the house. It’s also inhumane to try to torch animals alive. Remember, raccoons usually use a chimney to have young.
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