If it's a brick, stone, or mortar chimney, the squirrel will have no problem getting in and out, in which case you can trap or exclude the squirrel up
at the top of the flu. If it's a slick metal tube flu, then the squirrel can
get stuck in the bottom. In this case, you either have to let it out through the damper and into the fireplace, where you can nab it with a net or
even a blanket, or you can lower a thick rope down the flu for the squirrel to climb up and get out.
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Do not, under any circumstances, start a fire. You may cook squirrels, baby squirrels, but the adult will jump out of the open damper into the house.
It is somewhat easy for a squirrel to get trapped in your chimney. Trapped in the manner that it can’t get out climb its way back out after falling through. The reason a squirrel may go into your chimney is because it is a small place where it can get protection from the weather outside. The problem with that is that it can be a lot more dangerous for the squirrel inside your chimney, than it would have been anywhere outside. Squirrels are one of the wildlife animals that are most likely to end up in your chimney because of their ability to climb. Once the squirrel is inside it is a great home because it is warm and dry. The squirrel may see the chimney as a hollow tree which is perfect for them to live in especially in the winter. The problem is that once a squirrel falls in, it can be difficult to get out depending on the walls inside the chimney.
Getting The Squirrel Out Yourself
If the squirrel is in the chimney because it is trapped then the best thing you can do is to give it a way to get out. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a rope. A rope has a surface that makes it easy for a squirrel to climb. Even a weak or injured squirrel may be able to climb it with relative ease. If the squirrel does not come out right away do not take the rope away. Remember that it may be scared or may be hesitant to come out with you there. Leave the rope there for a couple of hours and check again. More than likely the squirrel will be out by then. Do not try the “smoking it out” method; the squirrel may want to get out, but it may not be able to and that would just make matters worse.
If you have a chimney you should know that squirrels in the chimney are a common problem and you should stop the problem before it happens. There are chimney caps that help a homeowner keep squirrels and other types of wildlife out of the chimney. They are easy to install and are not expensive at all. The caps have spaces that let the smoke out, but those spaces are too small for any uninvited guest to get in. You should also keep an eye on the squirrels. The first sign that they are about to make it into your chimney is that you will see them just outside the chimney very early in the morning and sometimes at night. If you see that then it is time to get them out of there before one gets trapped and it is too late.
If These Methods Fail
When removing wildlife, especially from a place like your chimney there are risks that a person performing the job is undertaking. You may run into difficulty with getting on the roof or you may have a hard time getting the squirrel to use any of your aids to escape the chimney. People who do this kind of work for a living will have techniques and equipment necessary to get the job done fast and without damage to your property. Squirrels are fast and though they may not be moving much if trapped in your chimney, the moment that they see an opportunity to get out they may do so quickly which can startle you. If you get startled while on the roof of your house it can lead to a serious injury and if you are nervous around wild animals it will be very easy to get startled. Weigh your options carefully and use all caution if you go onto the roof to remove the squirrel yourself.
Here are my other squirrel guides:
how to get squirrels out of the attic
- for advanced tips and advice
squirrel removal page
home page with basic information
tips page, bait, trap types
analysis of whether it works or not
how to kill squirrels
should you use poison?
how to catch squirrels
methods to catch them safely
how to keep away squirrels