As more homes are built in previously rural areas, there is a greater potential for interaction between animals and homeowners. Animals build their nests in chimneys because the architectural feature resembles the hollow of a tree, which often serves as a natural den. The chimney provides a safe, comfortable nesting place for a variety of wildlife, including several types of birds, raccoons and squirrels. During colder months, animals are attracted to the warmth of the chimney.
When the animals build their nest inside your chimney, you may hear telltale sounds like scratching, flapping or chirping noises. The nest blocks the flow of smoke and combustible gases. The obstruction prevents the safe use of the fireplace because it causes carbon monoxide and other harmful gases to accumulate inside your home. Nesting material typically consists of highly flammable materials, which could cause a chimney fire if it ignites.
If the nest falls to the bottom of the chimney, the animal may enter your home when you open the flue. The smokestack can also trap animals that fall in and are then unable to fly or crawl out. The food and waste material of the nesting animals can attract a variety of other pests. Depending upon the style of the chimney, it may also act as a pathway for animals to enter the attic. To lower the risk of a wildlife infestation, you should add screening material to the top of the chimney flue.
What is Chimney Screening?
Screening is a mesh material that is small enough to keep wildlife out of the chimney and large enough to allow proper ventilation. This pest control feature may be incorporated into a chimney cap, which also prevents moisture and debris from entering the chimney. The mesh openings typically range from one-half inch to 1 inch. If the openings are larger, some animals may be able to enter. Smaller openings may clog easily and restrict airflow. This prevents smoke and other byproducts of combustion from escaping. You can inspect the mesh material by opening the flue on a sunny day. If you can see daylight, the mesh is clean. A clogged screen will appear opaque and should be cleaned.
Hire a Professional for Animal Removal
Removing an animal from a chimney is not a do-it-yourself project. If an animal is living in your chimney, you need the assistance of an experienced wildlife exterminator. The technicians at A-Academy Termite and Pest Control are familiar with the local regulations concerning the removal and relocation of wild animals. Our team can install a new chimney cap to prevent a future infestation of unwanted wildlife. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote on pest removal or chimney screening.