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Time to Check the Chimney

As the season starts to transition into fall, temperatures will drop and heating units will be brought to life. There are still many homes that rely on a chimney for warmth, which can feel more authentic and provide a cozy winter ambiance.

The unfortunate truth about chimneys is that they can become impromptu homes for different pests looking for shelter. Keeping pests out, and removing them before winter, will ensure your home remains safe and warm:

Types of Animals Nesting in Chimneys

You’ll only find a few animals nesting in a chimney. While you won’t have to worry about insects as much, do keep an eye on the following critters:

  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Mice and rats

These creatures like to build nests and makeshift homes in warm, sheltered locations. A chimney often makes for a perfect location, especially when it lies dormant for two-thirds of the year. As these pests are bigger than your average insect, they can also be more disruptive in such limited space. 

You may have some bugs making their home in your chimney, but they won’t cover a large enough area to present much of a problem. Bugs can be smoked out by a lit fire or deterred by some simplebug repellant

Keeping Critters Out

The best form of pest control is prevention. Keeping pests out of your chimney in the first place takes much less effort and removes a lot of potential headaches. 

The first step you should take is a thorough inspection of your chimney and fireplace. These animals have a knack for getting into the tiniest of spaces, so even a small crack in the brickwork could be a potential entryway. Close up all of these entrances and it’ll be much harder for any pests to work their way in. 

Another thing you can do is place a cap or protector on top of your chimney. This wide opening can look mighty inviting, so closing it off is your best bet. This is the equivalent of locking the front door of your home to keep out potential burglars. 

Removing Current Occupants

Contrary to popular belief, lighting a fire is not the best way to flush out pests from your chimney. You can light nesting on fire, creating a hazard for your entire house. Additionally, blockage can force the smoke back into your home, ruining your interior air quality. 

In most cases, a chimney infestation is best left to a professional. However, you can try your hand at setting some traps of your own to try and remove uninvited occupants. For example, one of PF Harris’humane catch and release traps can nab squirrels, rats, and other small rodents.

Chimney pest control is more than just killing the assailants. You want everything removed from your chimney so that there’s no dangerous blockage or debris. When using traps, make sure they can be easily removed after making a catch. 

Even if you’re not firing up the chimney just yet, this is the perfect time to give it a sweep in preparation for winter. You’ll be able to enjoy a warm home with no problems by taking care of your chimney in advance.