Critters Living in Your Chimney? We’re Here to Help With Chimney Animal Removal Services

It’s the end of the day, and you finally get the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite show or book. But just as you ease into your favorite chair or spot on the couch, you hear it. There’s a noise in your chimney that sounds like there may be some type of animal living in it. And as much as you love company, these guests are not welcome. Now, instead of relaxing, you’re typing “chimney animal removal near me” as fast as possible into your search bar.

The last thing anyone wants is some wild critters gaining access to their living space.

So, what do you do? Well, if you’re in the Charlotte area, you call on the team at Owens Chimney Service. We’ve got your back with our humane animal removal services – and everything else chimney and venting too. Dial our number or request your next appointment online.

What To Do if There Is an Animal in Your Chimney

Step one? Give us a call. We’ll let you know if the animal in question is one we can remove – and if we can’t (see the section on federally protected animals lower on the page), we’ll help you navigate the next best steps.

Step two…well…that’s actually about all there is to it! Just give us a call and let us handle it from there.

That said, there a few things, we can recommend NOT doing:

  • Don’t attempt removing the animal(s) yourself. By attempting this, you invite the risk of getting injured or have the animal(s) transmit a disease. There’s also the chance things get out of control, and you end up with a squirrel temporarily hiding in your rafters.
  • Don’t attempt to smoke it out. Smoking animals out of a chimney never works out well. Oftentimes, the animal will die, leaving you with a bigger mess on your hands and a clogged up chimney. In addition, this technique is likely to cause your living room to fill up with smoke quickly.
  • Don’t block the chimney. Best case scenario, the animal leaves on its own – and not through your home. By blocking the chimney, you’re eliminating any chance of it escaping out the top.
  • Don’t make loud noises. We get it – you think banging your kid’s drum set by the fireplace might scare it out. Chances are, though, it’ll just get scared and panicked – potentially getting more stuck, or even injured, in the process.
  • Don’t use chemicals. Refrain from using chemicals or repellents – at least without professional guidance. Some substances may be harmful to the animal or create a hazard in your home.
  • Don’t ignore the problem. Animals in chimneys is a problem that should be resolved quickly by a professional. Delaying or ignoring the problem will only lead to bigger issues – nip it in the bud right away!

Signs You Have an Animal in Your Chimney

So, you think you have an animal in your chimney, but how can you be totally sure? Here are some of the most common indicators to watch (or listen or smell…) for:

  • Unusual Noises: Hearing scratching, scurrying, or flapping sounds coming from the chimney, especially when the fireplace is not in use, is a common sign that you’ve got some renters. And if you hear bird-like chirping or calls, especially during spring, it may indicate that birds have nested in the chimney.
  • Foul Odors: A strong, unpleasant odor emanating from the fireplace may indicate the presence of animals, their droppings, or nesting materials.
  • Debris or Nesting Materials: Discovering twigs, leaves, or other outdoor materials falling into the fireplace when you open the damper suggests that animals may be present. In some cases, you may actually see an animal or its nest when looking into the fireplace or up the chimney.
  • Smoke Backing Up: If you notice smoke or a smoky smell entering your home when you try to use the fireplace, it could be a sign of a blocked chimney due to an animal or nest.
  • Poor Fireplace Draft: Animals or nests in the chimney can disrupt the normal airflow, leading to unusual drafts or poor ventilation when using the fireplace.
  • Visible Animal Droppings: Finding animal droppings in and around the fireplace or on the roof near the chimney is never a good sign…and maybe critters have set up camp.
  • Damaged Chimney Cap: A damaged or missing chimney cap can provide easy access for animals to enter and nest in the chimney

Are the Animals in Your Chimney Federally Protected?

Quick note – there are some animals (ones that are known for favoring chimneys) that are federally protected. What does this mean for you? It means that, if stuck in your flue, by law, we either 1) cannot remove them or 2) specific practices need to be followed if removal is meant to happen. 

Basically…things get a bit trickier.

In these cases, while our team, specifically, may not be able to get these critters out, we can help you navigate the process – whether that means waiting for the animal to leave or recommending another company that specializes in that specific type of removal.

And after the fact – and once your chimney is cleared of pests – we will happily clean out anything they’ve left behind, as well as ensure you have a sturdy chimney cap in place, so that they can’t return. Call today to get started – you can also reach out online.

Avoid Recurring Guests By Booking Annual Chimney Inspections

So, you’ve got the animals out, and your chimney is free of any debris they left behind. Great!  Now, how do you keep them away for good?

The most important thing you can do to avoid future uninvited guests is get chimney inspections completed before every burning season. This ensures any signs of animals (or their nesting materials) are spotted and addressed – and it also gives the chimney technicians a chance to find the invaders’ potential entry point and seal it.

Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

In addition to annual inspections, chimney caps play a vital role in keeping Snow White’s animal buddies out of your flue. Chimney caps serve several purposes, but keeping critters out is one of the biggest and most important ones. And if your cap is damaged, missing, sized incorrectly, or just not the right style for your chimney type, you’re bound to experience more problems.

How do chimney caps stop animals?

Chimney caps are equipped with a mesh or a metal grid structure that covers the top opening of the chimney. This mesh or grid is designed with small openings that allow smoke and gases to escape, but prevent animals from entering. The barrier is effective in keeping birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other critters from entering the chimney.

Chimney caps also discourage nesting behavior by providing a barrier that makes it difficult for them to access the chimney space – or anywhere near the top of it.

Don’t Wait – Call Today

We’re here to answer your questions. Reach out to us today at 704-486-1734 or you can reach out to us online. Don’t let curious wildlife or birds set up camp in your chimney flue. Call us out for humane removal services. We’d love to be there for you.


When you arrange for a chimney sweeping, why not go ahead and schedule a furnace flue cleaning as well?