The chimney is designed to carry smoke and dangerous gases out of the home while you’re using the fireplace or wood burning stove. It is ultimately a big hole that leads from about three feet above your roof to the top of the fireplace. This provides ample space for small animals and birds to build nests on both the inside and outside of the chimney. Today we’ll talk about birds such as the chimney swift and other critters that build nests in or around the chimney, and how to safely deal with them.

Scratching and Chirping: Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other small animals often build nests in the chimney. The only thing that prevents animals and birds over a certain size from entering the chimney is a chimney cap. The cap is generally a metal topper with a screen-like casing that protects the opening from rain and small creatures.

Cheeps and Whirring: Bats have very unique sounds that differ from the chirping and scratching of birds. People often explain the sounds coming from the chimney as high pitched cheeps and a whirring sound due to fast wing movement. Installing a chimney cap will usually stop bats.

Buzzing: Buzzing in the chimney is generally caused by some type of bees or insects. You may notice insects or bees in the fireplace, or you may see them flying from the top of the chimney. Call us.

Safety has to be the very first rule of thumb when dealing with nesting animals. Most small creatures protect their young with a ferocity that causes them to become dangerous when they face human interaction. The best resort is to call us for an inspection. We’ll help safely remove animals and nests.

Some small animals and birds are protected by federal law. This means we are not permitted to move or remove them at any time. The chimney swift, for example, is protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Chimney swifts are common in our area, and must be protected. Their nests are built using their glue-like saliva and small twigs. The small, shallow half-cup nest protrudes two to three inches from the surface of the wall.

Trapped or Nesting?

How do you know if an animal is trapped or nesting in the chimney? A trapped animal will try to escape. The scratching and animal sounds may sound quite frantic instead of the relaxed or gentle sounds of a nesting female animal or bird. Never try to smoke animals out of the chimney or you could end up with a home full of soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide – and you’ll still have an issue with a trapped animal in the chimney.

You can rely on the services of Lou Curley’s Chimney Service for all of your chimney and dryer vent cleaning needs in Drexel Hill and the surrounding areas. We’re a locally owned and operated business, and we pride ourselves in providing top notch chimney services in Delaware County and the Springfield area. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA certified technicians.