It’s finally Spring! Sunshine and warm temperatures aren’t the only thing Spring brings us. It also brings us visitors who love to live in your chimneys. A majority of our phone calls regarding animals, consist of a homeowner either hearing strange noises or because they have seen one. The most common animals that take residence in your chimney are raccoons, chimney swifts, squirrels, and bats. At Hancock Chimney Service we humanely extract the animals from the chimney.
Raccoons like to climb into chimneys because they resemble trees. Female raccoons have babies in early spring and will enter the flue, so they can give birth in a safe place. Once the litter is delivered, the babies typically stay on the smoke shelf. If you suspect that you have raccoons living in your chimney, you can try turning on a radio very loudly, with hopes that it will scare them away. If this doesn’t scare them away, you may need to call a professional. After the raccoon is gone, it’s important to have the chimney swept to remove any droppings or nest materials they may have left behind.
Swifts are small gray birds that can survive inside your chimney because they fly vertically up and down the flue. It’s easy to determine if you have swifts by listening for their fast, high pitched chirps. Swifts typically arrive between April and May and migrate back to Peru usually by October. Did you know that these birds are a federal protected species? Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Swifts are not allowed to be interfered with and anyone that is found doing so, can be penalized. This protection can be a headache for many homeowners because chimney sweeps will not be able help until the birds migrate. Once they leave, the best recommendation is to install a chimney cap so that the Swifts won’t be able to return to their nests.
Squirrels & Bats
Sometimes squirrels or bats enter the chimney too. Like raccoons, squirrels see the chimney like a tree. In the winter months, squirrels may enter your chimney in hopes to find warmth. Bats fly into chimneys because of how high they are from the ground and because it’s easy for them to enter them. If you have either squirrels or bats living in your chimney, do not try to light a fire to make them leave. For squirrels, try hanging a rope from the top of your chimney. The squirrel will most likely climb up the rope and leave. For bats, contact a professional because they are also a protected species like swifts, and it is illegal to tamper with them.
If you or anyone you know have a problem with animal visitors, contact us to evict these unwanted guests today!