View Full Version : Help... squirrel in chimney!

Mar. 28, 2011, 05:26 PM
Yesterday we noticed that the cats were all hanging out on the kitchen counter, intently interested in the wall. Later, we heard the scrabble of little claws inside it. That particular wall is around the old chimney of our house; there are no actual fireplaces linked to it--goes straight from the basement floor up to the roof. There is no way to access the roof other than climbing a ladder from the ground floor; the house is two stories plus a full attic.

Pretty sure it's a squirrel, since the little furry bastards are everywhere around here... it's been trying to climb, because now I can hear it mostly scrabbling away at the top of the kitchen height, so it's made it up a few feet since yesterday...

If I could just throw a rope down there, I'm sure it could climb out, but I can barely see the chimney from ground level, let alone try to throw it three stories straight up and hope it goes down (if we don't have some sort of cap on it). I'm not worried about it dying and stinking things up, but I'm a softy and can't stand the thought of it dying slowly in there. Anyone have any thoughts? I don't even know who to call about something like this... in summer, I'd maybe try a chimney repair place or something, but it's still icy and snowy here, so I don't even know how they can get up there...

Mar. 28, 2011, 07:14 PM
Call around and get yourself an exterminator before you end up with a nest of bushytails!

Mar. 28, 2011, 07:17 PM
yeah, its not scrabbling to get out, its either breeding or making a nest or both

Mar. 28, 2011, 07:54 PM
Actually, that's kind of a relief... I don't think the chimney does anything anymore (seems to be sealed off from anything in the house), so if they want to nest in there, at least they're not going to be chewing through my insulation!

Mar. 28, 2011, 08:14 PM
Actually, Squirrels are very destructive, and they will go all over the place inside the walls, and chew-insulation, wood, wires..... And scrabble around, and make noise during the night. They also die in there-and that is NOT fun, ask me how I know that:(. That smell took almost three weeks to diminish:eek:

I would try to get it (them) out, and then find any small spaces where they can get in, and seal it up tight. You DON'T want them inside your walls, believe me!

Mar. 28, 2011, 08:50 PM
I know they're super-destructive, but since it's in a solid brick chimney, I figure it's not so bad... hopefully it can't gnaw through a brick wall... if it didn't nest in the chimney, I'm sure it would find someplace more destructive! I will check around the attic to make sure there aren't any holes up there though...

If it dies, at least it will vent out to the air and not into my house, and as for the noise, it's keeping the cats entertained.

Maybe I'm just trying to keep a positive spin on this. (:

Mar. 28, 2011, 09:19 PM
I hate to be a mean person, but how do you know the old chimney's solid and not missing a brick or two? Allowing the rat in a fur suit to access your walls, attic, or ceiling? I would get the exterminator out ASAP, and then seal the chimney off since it doesn't serve a purpose, and make sure all other vents/chimneys, etc are also properly sealed off too. And don't forget squirrels have fleas, and you definitely don't want those either.

Mar. 28, 2011, 09:27 PM
If your house is old, it may be the chimney for the kitchen stove.
If you map out your house draw each floor of the house, and trace the chimney and where it goes on each floor, then go to the basement. There may be a small chute door (1 ft by 2 feet). It may be painted over, but it may be there. Anyway you might be able to pry it open. If you don't find it check around your kitchen and look for a vent there.
We had a squirrel fall down such a chimney. We had the power company turn off our gas (which was near the vent). I opened a window, put a wooden plank from the floor to the window and pulled the blinds on all the other windows (that makes the one escape window the lightest point). The power company guys then opened the vent and we shut ourselves in the next room. He escaped immediately.
Squirrels like to go UP and all most wild animals will go towards the light and where they can feel air movement.
Good luck.

Mar. 28, 2011, 09:44 PM
No help, but this reminded me of the funniest NPR This American Life that I have ever heard. You all have got to listen to it. It is called "squirrel cop."

Here is the link:


BTW, it will tell you everything that you should NOT do to get rid of a squirrel.

Mar. 28, 2011, 10:07 PM
If one squirrel got in, others will too so at the least, you should find out how it got in make sure it doesn't happen again. Don't you think? Good luck.

Mar. 29, 2011, 07:29 AM
Thanks all... I really hope it got in through the top and not through a hole!

I haven't heard it since yesterday late afternoon, so maybe it either found its way out or broke its neck climbing... it's probably the same bastard squirrel that always goes after my tomatoes. Gah.

I'll have to listen to that This American Life on my way in to work today. (:

Mar. 29, 2011, 10:58 AM
We had a family of young squirrels launch an assult on our chimney(s) once.

Heard a scambling in the wood stove, opened it up, and out shot an ashy squirrel, coughing and sputtering. I don't remember the details on that one, but we got him out easily. I think there was a second one shortly after.

A few days later, a third one (same one? Third Time?) came down the other chimney, landing in the fireplace (after we opened the flue). I do remember putting on gloves and trying to corner him. He got out into the house, and within a day or two my sister's Husky had gotten him. There's not much worse than having a Husky and a squirrel loose in your house at the same time. Think "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

Mar. 29, 2011, 12:16 PM
I came home one day and when I opened the front door, it looked to me as though someone had let loose a tornado in the house-- drapes disheveled, chairs overturned. A squirrel had come in through an open space into the attic. I had left the door open in my bedroom upstairs and the antics had started from there. The dog had chased the squirrel through the house and pinned it behind the couch. Couch was destroyed. I found another squirrel upstairs in the bedroom sitting on a door. Ever tried to catch a squirrel? I was afraid it was an attack squirrel.

Mar. 29, 2011, 06:07 PM
LOL, the crazed squirrel-in-the-house stories are cracking me up. (:

I realized that the hot water tank pipes were actually fed through the old chimney... so that definitely makes me think a squirrel is nesting there; it's nice and warm, as opposed to our 20-degree regular temperature. In fact, right now, cuddling in a warm chimney sounds tempting to me... except I'd have to wrassle a squirrel...

Mar. 29, 2011, 06:56 PM
You might want to make sure it's squirrels. I thought I had squirrels in my chimney. It was bats >.>

Mar. 30, 2011, 01:27 PM
Squirrels will chew through to inside your house.

I had one do it in an unused room upstairs with a sealed off fireplace.

Had the dry wall fixed and they did it again when no one was living in the house. Chewed up all the windows in the room trying to get out and left a huge mess and slowly thirsted to death :(

Get rid of that sucker asap. Even rat poison is more humane than what happened to that little squirrel.

PS I have three chimneys. 1 had bats, 1 had squirrels, and 1 has honey bees.

Can't get rid of the bees with out tearing down the chimney and honey bees are endangered so I guess they get to stay. Also saw a wood pecker trying to peck through the metal chimney cap to get to the bees. Sounded like a mini machine gun!