A wood-burning fireplace is a beautiful addition to any home that can really add to the ambiance and overall feel of a space. However, one thing you may not have banked on inhabiting your home and making use of your fireplace when you selected it are pests like insects, birds, and other small creatures. But, the reality is that your chimney is an easy entry point for these creatures and many others. So, what can you do about it? Well, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to keep pests out, and if you do end up with an infestation, you can call a certified pest control specialist to remedy the issue quickly and effectively.
Pests That May Inhabit Your Chimney
Obviously the chimney is a huge entry point, but it’s large enough that a number of smaller animals can use it as an entryway to your home. Some of the most common pests you may find in your chimney include:
• Birds – Many birds build nests on top of the smoke shelf at the inside of the chimney.
• Bats – These pests like cool, dark spaces, so the chimney is a perfect hiding space. Bats often carry rabies, though, so do not attempt to remove bats from your chimney without professional help.
• Squirrels – Squirrels also can build nests inside the chimney, which can actually cause smoke to back up into your home and become a fire hazard.
• Raccoons – Raccoons are the largest, most aggressive animal you may find in your chimney that may bite if you attempt to remove them. It is best to get professional help for removing these pests as well.
Prevent Pests from Inhabiting Your Chimney
You can prevent inhabitation or infestation of your chimney in a variety of ways. Take these measures to prevent pests from getting into your chimney and causing additional issues.
• Close the flue. – The only time the chimney flue should be open is if you are burning something. Any time you are not burning, make sure the flue is closed. This may seem like a “no brainer,” but many homeowners neglect to do so. Likewise, you may want to consider installing a chimney cap to seal the top of the chimney and repairing any cracks in the chimney to prevent beetles and other bugs from entering the chimney.
• Burn the oldest firewood first. – Firewood that has been in the woodpile is susceptible to infestation, which can transfer bugs to the chimney and inside your home. Burning the oldest logs first will give insects the least amount of time to establish colonies in the wood.
• Store wood off the ground. – Keeping wood dry is also important for preventing bug and insect infestation. Store the wood elevated off the ground on concrete blocks, bricks, or a firewood grate.
• Install a fireplace door. – The door of your fireplace is a key entry point to your home. Install a door to cover the fireplace entryway. Installing a door will not only keep pests out, but it will also prevent children and pets from getting into the fire.
• Burn firewood immediately. – As you bring firewood in to burn, you often transport bugs and insects into your home. However, if you burn firewood right away, pests don’t have the opportunity to crawl out of the logs or kindling. Never store wood in your home overnight.
In any case, it’s the best preventative measure to have a pest management specialist inspect your fireplace and the rest of your home on a regular basis. An area of your home that is often left unused, such as your fireplace, is an ideal place for pests to locate. Taking these preventative measures and getting a regular inspection will keep your home safe all year long.
Casner Exterminating Inc. is a locally owned and operated business providing professional pest control and termite exterminating services to Salinas, Monterey and Santa Cruz for over 30 years. We pride ourselves at being the finest when it comes to pest control customer service and eliminating problem pests, rodents, wildlife and termites.