Superior Chimney Services, Inc.

What Animals Live in a Chimney and How to Keep them Out!

animal in chimney

Animals living in a chimney is a very common occurrence in Chicagoland. Animals, like humans, love warm, dark and quiet places to settle down and make their nests in. Chimneys are often times the perfect home! So, how do you know if there is an unwanted critter nesting inside your chimney? Let’s say it’s all quiet in your home, everyone’s asleep and the night just began. Listen closely to your chimney. If there are rustling, scratching, squeaking, pecking or noises that sound like movement, it’s likely you have an animal guest.

What Pesky Critters Can Live in a Chimney?

If you have an animal guest, what could it be? In Chicagoland, there’s a variety of animals that are known to live in chimneys. The 4 most common animals that tend to nest in chimneys are:

  1. Birds/bats
  2. Rats
  3. Racoons
  4. Squirrels

Birds, like the chimney swift, are a likely culprit of living in chimneys. Their name tells all. Chimney swifts have specially designed claws that attach to hard surfaces, making it easier to climb. As chimneys are made of hard material, chimney swifts with their long, sharp claws have no problem with latching on to the porous masonry and climbing up to build their nests.

Rats and squirrels are difficult to catch as they are excellent climbers. They are known for making their way into attics and small crawl spaces. They’re often found in dense nests inside chimneys. They do pose a danger though, as many of these pests carry diseases and insects, like ticks and fleas. If these insects drop down into your firebox, they can spread into your home.

Female raccoons are likely to take advantage of the warm nesting space inside your chimney to care of their young. Though cuddly looking, they pose a threat. They are often aggressive and will easily attack if disturbed.

Untouched Animal Nests

Why remove an animal home – after all, they need somewhere to live too? Most of these animals pose a health hazard by carrying serious diseases. You can remove an animal nest by hiring a Nationally Certified Chimney Professional. Do not start a fire to “smoke out” the animals yourself!. The disruption can cause aggression and potential harm to you. Additionally, an animal’s nest is likely to catch on fire the next time you light up the chimney, making it crucial to remove these nests as soon as possible.

Prevent Animal Nests

It’s possible to prevent animal nests from being built in the chimney. A Nationally Certified Chimney Professional will install a chimney cap. This is a small, stainless steel cap that’s placed over the exterior opening of a chimney, where the exhaust comes out of. This cap is designed to keep animals away from nesting in the chimney. There’s many great reasons to install a chimney cap!

Superior Chimney can Help

Our Nationally Certified Professionals will carefully remove any nests and animals, keeping your home safe and chimney clean. If you suspect an animal nest in your chimney, or want to check just to be sure, contact Superior Chimney today for an inspection at 877-244-6349.

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