Adult raccoons typically build nests in hollow trees during the springtime to protect and raise their young. In suburban areas, raccoons have found a new place to set up their day care centers: chimneys. If you hear screeching and rustling coming from your chimney, you may be surprised to learn that there is a family of raccoons living there. Getting raccoons out of your chimney is relatively easy and usually doesn't require any outside assistance. There are several approaches you may try. Preventing them from coming back is even easier, though you may need to hire someone to install a proper chimney cap.
Things You'll Need
- Odor repellents
- Chimney trap
- Chimney snare pole
- Chimney cap
Make sure that you are dealing with raccoons and not another critter. Peer into the chimney with a flashlight and watch the chimney around dusk when raccoons come out to hunt.
Drive the raccoons away by disturbing their home. Try making loud noises or set up a radio to play loud music in the base of the chimney during the day while they are trying to sleep. Chances are the raccoons will decide your chimney isn't the best place for sleeping babies and move out promptly. Other forms of loud noise can be effective as well, such as banging pots, yelling, or clapping your hands.
Purchase a raccoon repellent at your local home supply store. These often contain predator urine or harmless chemicals that the raccoons just don't like. Spray raccoon repellent in the base of the chimney and wait to see if the raccoons pack up and leave.
Set up a chimney trap to capture the raccoons at the top when they try to exit. You'll be able to grab the raccoons safely and set them free. You can also grab stray raccoons with a chimney snare pole.
To prevent raccoons from returning, install a chimney cap. While you may have some trouble getting the raccoons out of your chimney, a chimney cap will certainly keep them out. You can install these yourself or hire a chimney sweep to do it for you. Caps are usually nothing more than screens fitted into the top of the chimney to keep critters out while allowing smoke to safely exit during the winter months.
Tips & Warnings
- If you can stand living with the raccoons in your chimney for a season, the best approach might be to just wait until they leave and install a chimney cap as soon as they are gone.
- Don't try to smoke the raccoons out by starting a fire. This will likely kill the babies and is inhumane. They also might climb down into the house, something you really do not want.
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