Raccoons can easily climb in and out of chimneys and like to live and raise their young on the smoke shelf of a fireplace where it is dark and warm. It is dangerous to have animals living inside the chimney, they can catch on fire, enter your home, or both. Raccoons need to be removed from chimneys as quickly as possible, the longer they stay the more comfortable they become and their will to stay grows. Raccoons and chimney swifts will both return to the same chimney they have previously inhabited. It is strongly encouraged at the time of removal to install a chimney cap or similar animal guard. Other animals have been found inside of chimneys, most usually other types of birds and squirrels perish inside of the chimney before they can be removed. The only animals that can remove themselves from chimneys at leisure are raccoons and chimney swifts.
To remove the raccoons we drop moth balls onto the smoke shelf. These dry out the air in the chimney and make it undesirable for the raccoon. We also drop a rope down the chimney to aid the raccoons escape. Then we make noise inside the fireplace, because raccoons do not like loud noises. These three stimuli usually force the raccoon out. After leaving the chimney the raccoon scurries to the nearest tree to hide. The raccoon will return after being removed, chimney caps are strongly recommended. After the raccoon realizes that it cannot get back into the chimney, it will be looking for a new chimney to live in. Don’t let it be yours!