(HIB) – As temperatures drop, many people will start spending more time in the warmth of their homes. Animals don’t have the luxury of extra heating and take whatever refuge they can find, making chimneys a convenient place for pests to seek shelter. The team at Terminix has some helpful information to share so that homeowners can be better prepared to address critters that find their way into chimneys.
What kinds of pests can end up in your chimney?
If you hear rustling or scratching coming from your chimney, some type of rodent may be the culprit. Your visitors could be squirrels, which are excellent climbers and can be found in all sorts of places within your home, from attics to crawl spaces to wall voids. Or your chimney might become the den of choice for a female raccoon birthing her young.
Rats are yet another option. Norway rats can enter this area of your home from the ground floor and nest on little shelves inside your chimney. And while roof rats, a different species of rat found mostly found along the coasts, are more likely to nest in your attic, they can also find their way into your chimney.
Rodents aren’t the only animals that can end up in this space, either. Flapping sounds or chirps indicate that a bird may be nesting in your chimney. It may not look much like a tree to you, but to certain species of birds, your house’s chimney could look very similar to the hollow trees in which they like to build their nests.
How do you keep pests out of your chimney?
Ideally, you’ll want to set up some preventative measures to reduce the chances of a mother raccoon or other pest in your chimney. Installing a chimney cap can help keep birds, raccoons and other large pests out. When it comes to pests like rats and mice, you should focus on sealing smaller entry points, as a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter! It can be difficult to spot these access points from the ground, so you should have a professional inspect your roof and chimney for possible holes.
What do you do when a pest is already inside?
Pest control measures vary depending on what kind of animal has entered your chimney, but the general rule is that you shouldn’t light a fire or try to smoke the animal out. Pests like raccoons can attack when they feel threatened, and rodents can spread ectoparasitic insect pests like ticks and fleas, so you don’t want to come into direct contact with whatever animal has decided to seek shelter in your home. Leave the actual removal to professionals, as Terminix’s trained technicians can safely and effectively remove pests that have taken up residence in your chimney.