Keep Your Chimney and Fireplace Pest-Free
There’s a lot of love for fireplaces among homeowners in the U.S. Many critters are attracted to chimneys and fireplaces, too, however, and use them as entry points into the home.
Dealing with various pests and critters just goes along with the territory of being able to build cozy fires in your home, unless you take steps to keep pests away from your chimney and out of your firewood.
Animals most Commonly Attracted to Chimneys
Certain animals are naturally drawn to chimneys. You can have a chimney cap installed to keep them out, however. Without the chimney cap, you may find yourself dealing with birds, squirrels, and raccoons in your chimney.
- Birds tend to build nests on the top of the smoke shelf in a chimney. An exception is the chimney swift. These birds build nests along the vertical chimney liner. They are federally protected birds and can’t be removed. A homeowner putting up with the racket caused by a nest full of new baby chimney swifts won’t have to wait long – just until the migration season returns. Other types of birds that build nests should also be allowed to stay until babies can leave, too, or until they can be humanely removed. Install a chimney cap before the next season or expect repeat visits.
- Squirrels frequently make their way into open chimneys, and they are usually unable to get themselves back out.
- Raccoons like to go into chimneys because they provide a sheltered place for giving birth to little raccoons and raising them until they are able to get around independently. Adult raccoons are large enough to climb back out of chimneys on their own. Problem is, they are likely to return.
Keep Animals from Getting in Through the Chimney
A chimney is a large entry point for animals and insects. The following are strategies for keeping animals and creepy-crawlies from getting into your home through the chimney:
- The best solution is to have a chimney cap installed. Some styles can be very stylish and add to the overall look of your chimney. The mesh on chimney caps can only be so small; otherwise, smoke couldn’t get out with the needed strong draft. The openings in the mesh provide entry for insects.
- Always close the flue when there isn’t a fire in the fireplace. The flue serves several important functions. It seals off the chimney, preventing an exchange of air between the interior and exterior of the home. It can also help keep animals and insects from getting inside.
- If you keep your fireplace doors closed, any critters that get in won’t be able to get past the glass doors.
Pests in the Firewood
Bugs and rodents can get in your home through firewood. It’s always best to only bring logs in when it’s time to throw them onto the fire. Otherwise, while stacked in the house, all of the insects and possible furry creatures burrowed inside will have free access to your cozy home.
It’s best to choose the oldest firewood first, so that there is less time for pests to create colonies before logs are burned. It’s important to store firewood off the ground. Otherwise, bug and insect infestations are much more likely.
If you are experiencing a pest problem, contact our chimney specialists today. They’re trained to safely remove critters without the concern of possibly being exposed to any type of disease. They can also help, in the event that a critter goes undetected and dies in the chimney. Nothing can disrupt the enjoyment of a fireplace quite like critter problems.