by Susan


by Susan


Squirrels in chimney and fireplace

Do you have a squirrel in the fireplace?  Hear a squirrel in your chimney?  Step by step, here’s how to get the squirrel out and keep both your home and the squirrel safe.

Squirrel in Fireplace

Photo courtesy Phil Torres


How to Get the Squirrel in the Fireplace Out of the House

Step One – Squirrel Containment:

Close the glass fireplace doors.  If you don’t have glass doors on your fireplace, wedge the fireplace screen up against the opening so the squirrel can only exit via the chimney instead of into the room.

Just in case things do not go as smoothly as you hope, close all interior doors going into the room with the fireplace.

Step Two – Noise:

Make noise.  Lots of it!  The Humane Society claims your furry guest will try to escape the noise by going up the chimney if he possibly can.  Once he is above the damper, close it so he doesn’t re-enter the fireplace. [Click here to see how to close the damper.]

Step Three – Rope Exit:

If the squirrel can’t make his way up your chimney unaided, you can help him.  Tie one end of a three-quarter inch diameter or larger rope around your chimney.  Then drop the other end of the rope down the chimney.  Be sure to use a rope long enough to reach your furry pal.  Within a few daylight hours, your squirrel should make his exit up your chimney via the rope.

When the squirrel is gone, retrieve your rope.  Proceed to Step Five.

Step Four – Trap and Release:

If step three doesn’t succeed, you have either the Do-It-Yourself Option or the Professional Option.

  • The Do-It-Yourself Option

Buy or borrow a humane live trap.  Bait it with peanut butter.

In the best case scenario, you will capture the squirrel in the live trap without his escaping into the room.  But just in case he bolts as you are placing the trap in the fireplace, open an exterior door or window directly across from the fireplace, within the squirrel’s view.

Slowly, quietly open the fireplace doors or remove the fireplace screen and set the live trap in the fireplace.  Usually, the squirrel will retreat to a back corner of the firebox as you do this.

Now exit the room, closing the door behind you, and wait for the squirrel to go for the peanut butter.  When he does, take the trap outdoors.  Stand behind the live trap and wedge the trap door open.  In most cases your squirrel will immediately make a dash for freedom.

  • The Professional Option

County animal control officers, private animal and wildlife removal companies, pest companies, and even some chimney sweeps have humane live traps and will do the squirrel removal for you.

Step Five – Prevent Squirrel Re-entry:

Prevent a squirrel-in-fireplace replay by installing a chimney cap as soon possible.  Studies show that when one squirrel is removed from a home or yard, another one will fairly quickly take over his territory.

A chimney cap goes on top of your chimney or flue and prevents squirrels, bats, raccoons, birds, and other animals from entering your home through your chimney.  It also keeps rain and snow out of your chimney.

Our Chimney Cap Easy Measure Guide enables you to measure for the correct type of chimney cap for your style of flue.  And our chimney cap installation tips makes installing your chimney topper easy.

Final Note: How NOT to Remove the Squirrel in the Fireplace or Chimney

Do not try to scare the squirrel out of the fireplace or chimney by lighting a fire.  If it is burned alive, your home will have a dreadful odor that is extremely difficult to get rid of.

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  1. Bilal Khan July 26, 2017 at 9:32 AM - Reply

    Squirrels might seem cute with their roaming around and doing stuff but they can a risk if they are in your yard. Thing about squirrels is that they don’t cause harm to humans they might, in some cases, be a cause of skin disease called rabies, but that is a very rare case. Knowing about the potential damages that squirrels can cause can help you decide about when to get rid of them using professional squirrel removal services. People ask so many questions over the internet, including ‘how to get rid of squirrels in roof space’, ‘how to repel squirrels naturally’, ‘how to get rid of squirrels in trees’ and so many more like these.

    • Jason Bounds October 6, 2021 at 8:50 AM - Reply

      Rabies ain’t a skin disease, my dude. It’s a virus that causes potentially life threatening inflammation of the brain.

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