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How to Protect Your Chimney From Fall and Winter WildlifeMost Floridians know to take advantage of cooler weather when it comes their way. That’s why those with chimneys in their home like to set up some logs and start a small fire on chilly winter nights. However, opening up your chimney can sometimes leave your property exposed to potential animal invaders. Here is a little advice for those of you who want to cozy up by the fireplace without causing pest problems. 

Common Central Florida Wildlife 

These are a few of the most common animals to protect your chimney from this winter. 

Squirrels

When harsh weather comes around, squirrels want to be in a nice warm place just as much as you do. Because they spend most of their time in the trees above your rooftop, they can easily enter your chimney of it isn’t properly protected. Aside from causing a chaotic situation to come home to, squirrels can also cause quite a lot of damage. Squirrels tend to panic when confined and frantically chew on anything they find, including electrical cords, furniture, and toys. If they get ahold of the wrong items, the result could cost a lot of money in repairs and replacements. 

Raccoons

Raccoons often find small, hard-to-reach places to hide when they are preparing for winter. They are very agile and can climb trees or fences to gain access to your roof. If they manage to enter your chimney, raccoons will slide down in hopes of finding a safe shelter. However, there is danger to the animals in these situations, as they can sustain injuries from falling down the chute. Once inside your home, raccoons may rummage through your trash and cause damage to your belongings. 

Rats

Rats carry more diseases than any other rodent—some of which are easily transmitted to humans through contact with feces and urine left behind. This means that simply removing the animals from your home does not immediately protect you from catching a possibly life-threatening illness. Keeping them from ever entering your home is the safest way to prevent contamination. 

Preventing Animal Entry  

The first step in securing your chimney is to turn off the gas or wait until the wood has finished burning. Once you are sure that there are no gas or smoke fumes coming from the fireplace, you can proceed with closing the flue. It is important to do this as soon as safely possible, because many of the animals seeking entry are nocturnal and will likely enter at night. Most chimneys will have a chain or lever in the front interior of the fireplace for easy control. However, if you are not sure where your flue access is located, you can grab a flashlight and a pair of gloves to find out. Once you have identified and pulled the lever or chain, shine the flashlight up to be sure it is closed. 

Eliminating Wild Animal Access Points

Closing off the chimney is an important part of securing your home from animal invaders. Unfortunately, this is not the only access point for clever critters looking for a way in. If you want to be sure that your home is safe from invasion, call Central Florida’s first choice in critter removal. The expert technicians at Critter Control® of Orlando can even provide a complimentary inspection to understand the potential for a wildlife problem before designing a safe strategy. To make sure you never have to come home to animal invaders, call us today at 407-295-7194. 

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