How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Chimney

Raccoons in the Chimney — Guide to Removal

Raccoons live in chimneys as well as attics. Your chimney is just like a big, hollow tree to some animals. Raccoons are great climbers, and they need a safe, dry place in which to live, so if your chimney has no chimney cap, get ready for some visitors! Female raccoons instinctively seek out high areas in which to create a nest. Because raccoons are so common in urban areas, they often climb on houses and other buildings looking for a good place to set up a nest. It’s not uncommon to see a raccoon on the roof. If they see an open chimney, that’s a great place to pick in which to set up a den. They can easily climb down the flue, as seen in the above photo, and they usually set up a nest and have a litter of baby raccoons at the bottom.

DO NOT START A FIRE if you have raccoons in the chimney — you’d have to open the damper to let the smoke out, and they will enter the fireplace instead of climbing out. Even if they don’t get into the your house or fireplace, you will cook animals alive and get a horrendous odor that will last a long time.

If you have raccoons in the chimney there’s several things you can do. Odor deterrents such as predator urine or raccoon eviction fluid might work, because it’s a very concentrated area, as opposed to a large and well-ventilated chimney. The best is to set a special chimney trap at the top of the flu, which catches the raccoon as it exits. If there’s babies inside, they can then be safely removed by hand. You can also set a ground trap at the base of the chimney and do the same thing, though the capture rate may not be 100%, like with the chimney trap. You can scare the mama out and remove the young, then use the young as live bait. Or, you can use a long chimney snare pole to grab and remove them all. Many professional wildlife removal experts have special raccoon in chimney removal systems if odor deterrents don’t work. Just remember to get the babies as well as the mother!

If you open the damper, you may end up with raccoons in the fireplace. If they actually get into the house, stay away, and open doors and windows right away, and let them leave on their own — don’t try to corner or fight the animal, because it will likely defend itself.

Finally, once all the raccoons are out of the chimney, install a sturdy steel chimney cap to prevent this from happening again. Oh, and if you don’t have a cap right now, make sure the fireplace damper is closed, or else critters may wind up inside your home and not just the chimney.

How do I get baby raccoons out of my chimney — There are going to be two different kinds of baby raccoons in your chimney. There will be tiny, newborn raccoons or there will be larger, adolescent raccoons. Either way, these little guys can be handled with gloves, but the trick will be getting them out in the first place. First, you need to get the adult out of the chimney. Attaching a special trap at the top of the flu will catch the adult. If the babies are adolescents, you can sometimes get them out of the chimney with this method, too. With the trap attached to the top of the chimney, you can chase the adult and any older kits up and into the cage. Very young babies that have not really started to climb will be sitting on top of the damper. You can use a mirror to view above the plate before you reach up to grab the little guys. Whatever you do, you do not want to start a fire. More often than not, this makes the raccoons take the quickest route of travel. Because your damper is open at this point, that route of travel is going to be into your home instead of out the top of the chimney.

How to remove racoons from chimney — Of all the places to have racoons, the chimney is one of the easier places to get them out of, provided it is in good repair and no holes into the top part of the home exist. Some homeowners are not aware of damages that exist inside of the chimney, so be prepared for potential complications. To trap your raccoons, a special cage trap needs to be attached to the top of the chimney flu at the roof. Using a pole, you can encourage the adult raccoon, usually a female, to leave the chimney and be caught in the trap at the top. Now, any babies that are living on top of the damper can be retrieved with your hands—just wear gloves. Adolescent racoons may be easy to handle but they can be just as likely to bite as an adult. What you do not want to do is open your damper prior to removing the creatures or start a fire. Both of these mistakes might result in raccoons loose inside of your home. If you need to determine how many critters are left in the shaft, use a mirror with a long handle to peer above the damper.

Reader Email Hi David, My name is Jason and I own a Pest Control company in Houston Texas. I have read your website and really appreciate your methods and appreciation of wildlife. I am doing my best to operate my company in a humane, responsible manner when trapping wildlife. I currently have a coon that is giving me fits. It is living in a chimney. Ive tried to catch it using white bread and marshmellows, and Ive throughly inspected the fireplace and flue and found no babies, so I cant use live bait as you suggest. Do you have any ideas of where I should place the cages and what bait I should use. I am currently setting the cages on the ground outside the home where I believe the animal is coming off the roof and into the chimney. Should I try placing the cages in the fireplace? What type of cage should I use. I am currently using Have-a-heart raccoon cages. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Jason

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My response: Jason, thanks for writing to me. I get inquiries from several wildlife removal companies. Raccoons can be very tricky. It sounds like you have a trap shy raccoon. Setting cage traps on the ground will not work. The type of bait does not matter — they eat anything, and a raccoon that has never seen a trap might even go in just out of curiosity. Also, traps set inside the fireplace absolutely will not work. You need to isolate the area that the raccoon is using to get in and out of the chimney, and mount a trap directly on that area to catch it as it comes out. The large Havahart is fine — the type of set is what is crucial — get on that roof, get some heavy gauge steel mesh and screws, and mount it right!

Article topics include:
How to get rid of raccoons in the chimney and fireplace.
Get raccoons out of the chimney and keep them out.
How to remove raccoons from the chimney.

How to Get a Raccoon Out of Chimney

I’m commonly asked how to get rid of raccoons in the chimneys. It’s my job to remove critters from homes, and this is one of the cases that I deal with. It all starts when a homeowner hears noises in the chimney, usually just above the fireplace. Sometimes the homeowner knows that it’s raccoons — due to visual confirmation of the animal climbing into the roof, and sometimes they don’t know at all. It could also be squirrels. Of course raccoons usually sound bigger and louder than squirrels, but the acoustics of the chimney and fireplace are more relevant than the animal, so it can be hard to tell.

Why do raccoons go into chimneys? Mostly because it’s like a big, hollow tree. It’s a safe place in which to live, and for a female raccoon, it’s a great place to give birth and raise a litter of baby raccoon pups. Raccoons are great climbers, so they have no problem climbing up and down the chimney flu, and off and on the roof to access the chimney in the first place.

How to Get a Raccoon Out of the Chimney: Professional wildlife removal experts use a special trapping system that mounts directly to the top of the chimney flu. Some use a special pole-and-trap system that forces the adult raccoon up and out and into the trap. The young raccoons, above the fireplace damper, are removed via mirror and hand removal or snare removal. It’s dangerous to try to get the young if the mom is still in the chimney, because she might attack. It’s also possible to get the young when she is out foraging, and seal the chimney with a proper steel chimney cap. Or, you can trap the mom in a cage trap on the roof or the ground near the climbing point, and then remove the young. There are a number of options. However, whatever you do, do not start a fire, as this will result in you needing to open the damper, and the scared raccoon possibly jumping into the house. It’s also inhumane to try to torch animals alive. Remember, raccoons usually use a chimney to have young.

Raccoon in the chimney.

The above photo was actually taken by my father — he got a family of raccoons in his chimney, and his own son was nowhere in Pennsylvania to be found to help him! I had my buddy Kris, who I trained, go over and grab the babies, and catch the mother raccoon. All were safely let outside together, and a steel cap was installed on the chimney. Thanks to my dad for taking this great photo, and sorry I wasn’t around to help — and after all the free dental cleanings you’ve given me over the years!

My brother-in-law got this great photo of a raccoon inside the flu. I guess I don’t have anything more to say about getting raccoons out of chimneys right now. As is often the case with wildlife control, you probably want to hire a professional wildlife removal company to take care of your problem, rather than attempt it yourself and risk injury or property damage.

Real Raccoon Situation: Hi Dave, We are desparate to get the racoons out of the chimney, but don’t want to hurt them. (We are not sure they are racoons but, something sounds large.). We have no way of seeing them as our chimey is STUFFED full. My husband put food and water up there, but it wasn’t eaten. He blocked off their entrance and had planned on keeping them in the chimney until the babies were old enough to go out. Now we are not sure what is going on. My husband is worried that only the babies are up there and will starve. If the mother isn’t there, what could we feed infants? We are very worried. Helen

My response: I see no reason to suspect that there are abandoned young in the chimney. If there were, you’d have very little chance of finding and raising them. You’d need to find a licensed rehabber in your area to take care of them. But that’s moot, as the mother is surely still around, if you have raccoons that is. Sounds like you don’t actually know exactly what is happening in the chimney. Maybe you should get a professional company in your area to come out and inspect the house.

Thanks for responding. There were 4 baby raccoons, but one had died. The mother was still in the attic.. The story is long. This is the shortened version. My husband trapped the mom and put her in a dog crate with the babies. The mother freaked so he let her out. She took one baby. My husband started feeding the babies. She came back. By then the babies were in the basement with a heating pad. My hub was trying to feed them infant cat milk. They weren’t eating well so we called a raccoon rescuer. She said the babies were in good shape and she took them. Not a horrible ending, but not the best. It would have been better if the mom got the babies. If it happens again we will call the rescuer first. Thanks again, Helen

Real Raccoon Situation: David, Around 3 AM I hear noise in my attic. I’m right near the chimney. However i have caps on my chimney. I don’t know if it’s raccoons ,or squirrel, that are in my attic. The cap is still on my chimney. They keep me awake. I’m looking forward to your response, because I came across your blog today and am intrigued by the Repeating Live Cage Trap that attaches to the hole. I’m pretty sure the squirrel in my attack has young ‘uns and the two Have-a-Heart traps are doing the trick. They’ve ignored the one in the attic that I put peanut butter in and then p-nuts in the shell and the one outside has caught the same small raccoon twice. Where can I get the Repeating Live Cage Trap? Help! Thanks, Luke

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My response: Well, if the cap is in place, then the raccoons should not have gotten into the chimney. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes there’s an opening on the side of the flu that leads into the chimney. A raccoon might be going through the roof somewhere, or in a hole where the chimney meets the roof — I’ve seen that happen before. It sounds like you don’t know if you have raccoons or squirrels — either way, I really think you would benefit by having a professional wildlife removal company come out and inspect your house and take care of the problem properly.

Article topics include: how to get raccoons out of my chimney — raccoons living in the chimney — install a chimney cap to keep out animals — noises in the chimney — animals in the chimney

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons – Easy Peasy Steps That You Never Read

Do not let their cute masked faces fool you; raccoons can be pests. These furry dumpster divers have a knack for leaving messes in people’s backyards. This is in addition to them being carriers of disease-causing microorganisms.

While they might look cute and harmless, these furry visitors can be a pain in the Ass. Being omnivorous, they aren’t picky about what they eat. And if you do not Do something about them, you might wake up one day to find your goldfish missing.

Which brings us to the all-important question how to get rid of raccoons? Since they have a habit of making their homes in our attic getting rid of them may require Some ingenuity. In this article, I will be going through some of the ways of Getting rid of raccoons.

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What Attracts Raccoons?

Raccoons can eat just about anything. So the question what attracts raccoons has many answers. For starters, raccoons are attracted by garbage cans where dump our leftovers.

These furry animals are also attracted to your home by bird feeders, goldfish ponds, and chicken coop. Apart from bird feeders, they are also attracted to our homes by the site of deer feeders. Gardens with sweet corn can also lure a raccoon to your property.

What Does A Raccoon Nest Look Like?

So what does a raccoon nest look like? It is hard to tell how the nest looks like. However, the nest will most probably be located in a hard to reach area. Due to their strong maternal instincts, mother raccoons are very careful about their dens.

The nest will be in a small opening in the wall or the attic. It will also have a lot of droppings around it.

How To Scare Raccoons

As we have already established raccoons are nocturnal and thus try as much as they can to avoid light. That being said one of the best answers to the question of how to scare raccoons is to use light, lots of light.

Ideally, the outside of your home should be bathed in floodlight if you want to scare away raccoons. Of course, this presents another challenge, how do you bathe your home in light without painfully increasing your electricity bill?

The best answer to this is to opt for LED floodlights. Also, you can throw in some motion sensors that activate the floodlights. This will ensure the floodlights turn on whenever there is movement outside.

Fencing might seem like a good answer to how to scare raccoons away. However, for your fence to be effective, it needs to be extra tall. Raccoons are excellent climbers and will easily scale your fence.

Similarly, raccoons are also excellent at digging, so the fence needs to extend deep into the ground. Better yet why not make the fence electric.

What To Do When You See A Raccoon

While they are nocturnal animals, there is a possibility of coming face to face with a raccoon during the day. When that happens, the last thing you want to do is attack or approach the animal.

Raccoons are carriers of diseases that are deadly to humans. Without knowing whether a raccoon is a carrier or not you can end up on a hospital bed. Thus, the best thing to do is not approach the animal.

Since they will most probably be afraid of seeing you, raccoons will generally try to avoid human contact. And can get defensive when they do come into contact with us.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Under Deck

When you suspect you have a raccoon living under your deck, then the culprit is most likely a mother raccoon with her babies. Fortunately for us, what they lack in tableside manners raccoon more than makeup for with excellent parenthood.

Raccoons are excellent parents and will move their babies as soon as they feel frightened. So if you are wondering how to get rid of raccoons under deck, here is what to do. Raccoons have picked your deck because it is a dark, quiet and safe place.

So the first thing to do is interfere with the quietness and safety of the deck. This you can do by introducing a bright light at the entrance of the raccoon den. An outdoor spotlight or mechanic light will do the trick.

Next place a radio tuned to a talk station near the den’s entrance. Raccoons feel threatened when they hear human voices. Lastly, use rags soaked in ammonia or apple cider vinegar to create a smelly atmosphere near the entrance of the den.

Scent deterrents alone aren’t effective against raccoons. But when used in conjunction with light and sound are very effective. All these disturbances will go a long way in convincing the mother raccoon that the deck is no longer a safe place for her and her babies.

Keep all these things in place for three days. After this, you can do a paper test to check whether the raccoons have vacated the deck. To do this simple push balled up newspaper in the deck ensuring it covers the entrance.

Wait for another three days and check. If the newspapers are still in place, then chances are the raccoons have left the building.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons In Attic

The attic is another part of your home that is prone to raccoon infestation. So it is always prudent to learn how to get rid of raccoons in attic. There are several ways on how to get rid of raccoons in your attic.

The most effective is using a trap. Before doing this, you must find where the raccoons are getting in through. This can be through an opening in the wall or through a hole in the corners of the attic.

Next, seal this entryway. If there is a raccoon residing in your attic, it will have nowhere to go. Finally, set cage trap ensuring it is lined with newspapers at the bottom. The newspaper will make the trap easy to clean.

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Then you have to wait for the raccoon to get into the cage. With no way out of the attic, raccoons will become curious and want to check out the cage. Once they do, they will trigger the trap and get caged.

To ensure you catch the varmint, you can set up a remote camera near the trap. This will give you a good view of the trap. In this way, you will be able to know when a raccoon enters the cage.

Now that you have cornered your prey and gotten rid of the infestation, the next question is how to keep raccoons out of your attic. The best way is to ensure all entryways are sealed. You can also use scent deterrents that will scare away any raccoons that dare enter the attic.

How To Trap A Raccoon In Your Attic

Trapping of any animals raccoons included is always a sensitive topic. In some states, the trapping of animals is not allowed. So if you want to know how to trap a raccoon in your attic, it is important to find out if your state allows first.

If your state does allow trapping of animals, then we can get on to trapping. First, you will need a couple of suppliers. You will need a metal cage or an animal trap, which you can find in most hardware stores.

In addition, you will need spray foam, pinecone, peanut butter, newspaper, wire, and a long sturdy pole. The first step will be to locate the hole through which the raccoon is entering the attic and seal it.

Next, coat the pinecone with peanut butter and wrap a 12 to 18-inch long wire around the pinecone. Ensure the wire fastens securely around the pinecone’s grooves. Next, hang the pinecone inside the cage.

The pinecone should be placed somewhere near the center of the cage. Next, take the cage into the attic and place it in an area away from wires. Spread out the newspapers under the cage. Leave the cage in the attic and wait.

With nowhere to go the raccoon will eventually get into the cage trying to retrieve the pinecone. By so doing they will activate the trap and lock themselves in. Once you have trapped the raccoon inside the cage, it’s time to let it go.

Raccoons though cute and seemingly harmless are vicious creatures especially when trapped. Thus do not get to close to the cage rather use a long pole to handle it. The final step is to transport the raccoon far away from your home, 10 plus miles away will do.

How to Get Rid Of A Raccoon In Your Garage

There are times when we leave our garages open during the day. At such times raccoons may find their way in search of something edible. Which brings us to the all-important question of how to get rid of a raccoon in your garage?

Similar to the deck, raccoons can build their homes inside your garage because it is a dark, quiet and safe place. In such an instance, the best thing to do is make sure your garage lights are on.

Raccoons are nocturnal animals and as such do not like light. Leaving your garage lights on will scare any raccoons living inside away. You will have to patient to allow the raccoons to leave your garage on their own.

Another method you can use on how to get raccoon out of garage is by using a trap. However, caution should be taken as trapping animals is illegal in some states. When it comes to using a trap, there are quite a number of traps you can use.

How To Get Raccoons Out Of Chimney

It is already established that raccoons love dark and quiet places, and there is no place that is darker and quiet than your chimney. When a raccoon or raccoons invade your chimney, there are several things you can do.

On how to get raccoons out of chimney, you can use scent deterrents such as a predator’s urine. There are also raccoon eviction fluids you can use to scare the raccoons away.

Alternatively, you can use a special chimney trap, which you set atop the chimney. The trap will catch the raccoons as they or it exits the chimney. There are other traps that can be placed at the base of the chimney as well.

The one thing you should not do is open the damper. This will give the raccoon’s access to the fireplace and your home. If the raccoons do not mess up your home, you might end up having a roasted raccoon carcass, and nobody wants that.

The one thing you should not do is open the damper. This will give the raccoon’s access to the fireplace and your home. If the raccoons do not mess up your home, you might end up having a roasted raccoon carcass, and nobody wants that.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoons At A Deer Feeder

Like all other wild animals, raccoons are always looking for food. In this regard, they will be more than happy to invade your deer feeder. Which raises the question of how to get rid of raccoons at deer feeder.

There are several things you can do. First is to have a fence around the deer feeder preferably an electric fence. You can also use a raccoon trap at the base of the deer feeder. However, it is important to note that the trapping of raccoons is illegal in some states.

How To Catch A Raccoon Without A Trap

So how to catch a raccoon without a trap? Raccoons are intelligent animals that can get vicious when cornered. Therefore, scaring a raccoon away from your property is the best way to get rid of a raccoon without using a trap.

This is especially in the case of a mother raccoon. Trying to approach and physically grab a cornered raccoon is dangerous. Essentially because they can scratch your face or leave disease-causing microorganisms with you.

What To Do With A Trapped Raccoon

Trapping and relocating a raccoon is not always agreeable in the eyes of the law. So if you plan on trapping and relocating a raccoon, you need to find out what your state says about this. But when you do get a trapped raccoon, what next.

Knowing what to do with a trapped raccoon is important. The natural thing to do is to take it about 10 plus miles away from your property. There are those that advocate for the killing of a trapped raccoon, but this is not always an effective plan of action.


Raccoons are some of the most common pests in the US. These furry creatures are always scavenging for food which is why they love our dumpsters so much. They are known to leave a mess everywhere they go and are carriers of diseases.

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