Residential Animal Removal: Returning Nature Back to Nature
Whether it’s wood or pellet fireplace or a gas or oil-fired heating appliance that warms your home, there’s a part of your heating system that animals love. The chimney and flue that runs up from the firebox up and out to the roof above can – if not properly cared for – be a perfect spot for animals to seek refuge and even birth and raise their young.
While birds, squirrels, and raccoons are an important part of nature, they are a danger once they enter your chimney. They are not only a nuisance due to the noise they make, but they can also be a health danger to you and your family. How so? On one level, animals and their droppings carry diseases and parasites. On another, more immediate level, animal nesting materials pose a serious fire risk.
Your local Fresh Sweeps team is committed to protecting your family and friends along with the place that matters most. From chimney sweeping to air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning, the comfort, safety and security of everyone is a priority that requires regular maintenance and periodic repairs.
Animal removal is another critical part of the Fresh Sweeps service menu. The consequences of animals inhabiting the chimney system are not to be taken lightly. Wild animals bring a host of problems into a home, with a list that only gets longer in some regions of the United States.
Fresh Sweeps can safely and humanely drive animals from chimneys and clean out the debris they leave behind. By removing the animal and their nesting materials, we help make sure your chimney system is safe for you and your family.
The Fresh Sweeps Commitment:
Humane removal, compliance with federal and state laws, and an uncompromising focus on the safety of homeowners and their property.
Beyond Cute: Serious Animal Risks
Fresh Sweeps knows the risk of animals expands beyond increased fire risks. Here are some of the dangers animals in chimneys pose:
Raccoons: Defending Their Young, Spreading Disease
Often, the raccoons that find their way into your chimney system are females. Because a chimney is much like a real, hollowed-out tree, nesting there is a natural behavior with serious consequences. Ready to defend her offspring, a mother raccoon is three times more powerful than a similarly sized dog.
Other, non-pregnant raccoons can occupy the chimney as well. Sick or dying animals seeking shelter are common chimney dwellers. Young raccoons that remain after the death of their mother most frequently die inside the chimney column. Even if the animal is healthy, the risks to the home’s occupants is very real.
It is important to know that raccoons also carry rabies, with the ability to transmit the disease to humans and their pets. The U.S. Human Society considers them a “vector species” for the disease because rabies is so common in raccoons. While this creature may appear friendly or curious, it is a wild animal.
Leptospirosis and roundworms can be spread through its urine and feces. Once again, the jump to humans and their pets is an easy one. The first bacterial disease can cause headaches but may result in kidney failure, bleeding from the lungs, and meningitis. Roundworms are parasites that invade the digestive system with a wide range of negative consequences.
Squirrels: Rodents Doing damage, Carriers of Fleas, Ticks and More
As with other rodents like rats and mice, squirrels chew through drywall, insulation and electric wires as they fabricate nests. Chimneys are easy shelter options as squirrels can leap from trees to rooftop over great distances. Squirrels will pull a variety of materials into the flue to build their nests.
Like raccoons, the ability of offspring to survive is low if the female squirrel does not return to the nest. Even if the animal is not pregnant, the squirrel brings fleas and ticks into the chimney system, threats that are easily transferred to humans and pets. Urine and droppings are another danger as well; salmonella can be transmitted to humans from contact with them.
Birds: Cute Doesn’t Mean They Belong
Among the most common avian occupants of chimneys is the chimney swift. A beautiful flyer as well as consumer of insects, the swift pulls sticks off trees to stick them to the flue wall with their saliva. A brood of three to four hatchlings in their next fills the flue with flammable material along with loud noises.
Swifts are difficult to remove and have a long-standing breeding range that includes U.S. states east of the Rockies (source; U.S. Humane Society). Fresh Sweeps can advise you on how to protect your chimney from swifts and how to handle them while also complying with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Bats: Problems Return to Roost
Those who live in locations where flying insects are a nuisance are relieved to see bats hunting airborne pests in the evening. While greatly beneficial, allowing them to take up residence in the warm comfort of a chimney is unwise. Of the 40 species of bats common in the United States, 30 are documented carriers of rabies.
The build up of their feces, referred to as bat guano, is likely more dangerous to most families than even the airborne histoplasmosis disease they carry that can mimic influenza or even tuberculosis. Over a period of time, this guano restricts the movement of exhaust air through the chimney. Bats are illegal to kill, but we can safely drive them out of chimneys.
Animal Removal Isn’t a “Get Around To It” Problem
Homeowners are advised against attempting removal, as the disease dangers associated with animal contact are high – and killing many animals is illegal. Click here to call in a Fresh Sweeps technician now.