It may seem as if it should be easy to tell that there are animals in your chimney. However, many homeowners spend upwards of several months with uninvited guests in the chimney, never even realizing that they are there. If a family of animals has taken up residence in the chimney, they are sure to leave a few telltale signs that should tip off any homeowner.
One of the first noticeable signs that there are animals in your chimney is the presence of strange sounds. As animals go about their business of eating, sleeping and building nests, they are bound to make some noise. In most cases, homeowners notice that there is an unexplained scratching or banging sound coming from their chimney. If these sounds begin to occur out of the blue, it is a good idea to check for an animal infestation.
Another obvious sign that animals have moved into the chimney is the smell that they tend to produce. Animals will come in and out of the chimney, bringing with them the odor of anything they come into contact with out of doors. In addition, once they have been living in the chimney for awhile, the people in the house will be able to smell evidence of animal waste coming from the fireplace.
After some time, there will also be visual evidence that there is something unusual going on inside of the chimney. An observant person will notice animal droppings, fur and parts of nests falling out of the chimney and into their fireplace. If this is the case, it is a safe bet that the animals have been in there for quite some time and need to be evicted as quickly as possible.
Having animals living in the chimney is not only an annoyance but it can actually be dangerous. If there are strange sounds coming from the chimney or a smell that has never occurred before, it may be the result of a dangerous infestation. If this is the case, it is best to contact a professional chimney sweep rather than allowing an untrained person to handle the animals.