Raccoons Will Love Your Warm Chimney In The Winter, But You Won’t!

Your Home’s Hollow Tree For Raccoons – Your Chimney!

Raccoons in the chimney is a very common problem homeowners face. It makes perfect sense for a raccoon to seek a dry hollow area to live in safety from predators and the outside world. A fireplace chimney simulates almost perfectly a hollow tree in the wild, which raccoons evolved to take refuge in. This is also where female raccoons prefer to give birth and raise their young. In fact, a high percentage of the time when a raccoon is found nesting in a chimney, its a female.

The tell-tale signs that you have a raccoon occupying your chimney are sounds coming from the inside of the fireplace shelf – above the damper. Sounds that are commonly heard include rustling, purring, whining, and growling. Baby raccoons make a distinct sound, which can be described as a high-pitched chattering. You may also hear the adult raccoon walking on the roof or crawling up the side of your home while traveling to and from the chimney. Most of this activity occurs at night because raccoons are primarily nocturnal, although it’s not uncommon for them to be active during the day as well.

How Do You Confirm There’s A Raccoon Living In Your Chimney?

It’s best to call in a professional to have an inspection done. On this website, we list dozens of local wildlife specialists ready to help you. Navigate the directory from here or from the home page.

There are a couple of good reasons a homeowner might not want to attempt raccoon removal from the chimney. Mother raccoons are highly protective of their young and can potentially become aggressive. Also, when raccoons are present in the chimney fecal waste and urine can accumulate on top of the damper. The waste of raccoons can contain roundworm, which is hazardous to us humans. Furthermore, there is potential for various other zoonotic diseases as well. So it’s best to avoid a situation where you may come into contact with raccoon waste.


What Are The Options To Get The Raccoons Out?

Whatever you do, never start a fire to remove unwanted raccoons from a chimney! The mother may take off out of the chimney and the babies will be left to suffer from smoke suffocation. This is very inhumane to the animals. It is also dangerous to leave a fireplace damper open as the stressed raccoons may escape into the living quarters of your home.

A professional raccoon trapping business, such as one we list on our website, will be able to safely capture the female raccoon in a steel cage trap. Some companies carry traps which can be installed at the top of the chimney in order to capture the adult raccoon. Other operators may secure their traps to the roof. If there are young raccoons present in the chimney, they can be removed manually by the wildlife professional. This is attempted AFTER the mother raccoon has been safely captured.

If you have additional questions about raccoons in your chimney or fireplace, please call the professional listed in your area on this website.