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3 Types of Common Critters Found in a Chimney

Post by : dminCMC


Chimneys have long been known as portals for Santa Claus and a cozy escape for Mary Poppins, but these structures also attract an array of less magical yet fascinating critters. If you’ve ever wondered what creatures may be crawling in or out of your chimney at night, prepare to be intrigued as we unveil three common critters in chimneys that might surprise you.

a close-up shot of a raccoon

1. Chimney Swifts

When you imagine creatures living in a chimney, birds might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica) have mastered the art of stealthy residency. With their sleek, cigar-shaped bodies and crescent wings, these enigmatic birds have evolved to roost almost exclusively inside chimneys.

Chimney swifts are migratory birds, spending their summers in North America and flying south for the winter. During their nesting season, they build cup-shaped nests with twigs glued together using saliva. Their saliva acts as a natural glue, which helps secure their homes to the chimney walls. The upside-down cone shape of their nests provides a perfect cradle for their young, protecting them from accidental falls. Despite their nocturnal chirping echoing through the chimney, chimney swifts are a beneficial species to have around.

2. Raccoons

The Sly Chimney Conquerors With their crafty paws and masked faces, raccoons (Procyon lotor) have earned a reputation as mischievous urban dwellers. Although they often seek refuge in attics, chimneys present an equally enticing hideout for these resourceful creatures until chimney cleaning is done.

Raccoons are skilled climbers, and scaling up a chimney isn’t difficult for them. Once they reach the rooftop, a chimney’s dark and sheltered interior becomes an appealing spot to raise their young. Raccoons may use sticks, leaves, and debris to create a nest where they can give birth to their adorable cubs.

Squirrel hung on a tree

While these critters might seem endearing from a distance, sharing your home with raccoons can lead to trouble. They can cause structural damage and carry diseases like rabies. To deter these sly chimney conquerors, consider installing a chimney cap that keeps them out while allowing the safe release of smoke and gases.

3. Squirrels

The Unlikely Tightrope Walkers Squirrels are renowned for their acrobatic abilities, gracefully leaping from tree branch to tree branch. But did you know that they are also skilled tightrope walkers, especially when it comes to navigating chimneys?

Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are notorious for exploring chimneys and making them their winter hideouts. When the temperatures drop, they seek the warmth of the fireplace and make use of the vertical space within the chimney. Their sharp claws and strong hind legs allow them to easily climb up and down.

While these common critters might appear harmless, they can significantly damage your chimney and cause your house to have improper ventilation. So, schedule a chimney cleaning session with Creative Masonry and Chimney today in Manchester, Litchfield, or chimney rebuilding East Hartford CT.