What to Do if a Squirrel Falls Down the Chimney


First, let me tell you the most important thing not to do from first-hand experience removing trapped squirrels from properties in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • Don’t wait more than a day to hire a wildlife removal specialist; the squirrel could die after two days. It may have been there longer before you noticed it, too.
  • If you call a wildlife control service and they can’t come the same day or early the next day, you should keep calling until you find fast service.

Now that you know that squirrels can’t survive very long when trapped and stressed out, you might want to try and let it out yourself if you feel it’s safe to do so.

  • The worst case scenario is that the squirrel exits the fireplace and runs into open ceiling space in the basement or down into an open floor vent, so if you can’t block all these areas, you should hire a professional fast.

The sound of crackling fire and its warmth is one of the best things about having a fireplace. However, having squirrels in the chimney can damper this experience. The scratching and thumping noises they make can be quite alarming, and the risk of a fire outbreak from flammable materials they may have gathered in the chimney flue is also a concern. Furthermore, if they have fallen down the chimney, trying to retrieve them yourself might be dangerous and against wildlife laws. Refrain from trying to get rid of them alone and call a professional animal removal service instead. It’s never a great idea to share your home with squirrels, especially if they’re in your chimney.

Why Do Squirrels Enter Chimneys?

Have you ever heard rustling or scratching sounds coming from your fireplace? It’s possible that a furry little critter has found its way into your chimney. Sometimes it happens when a squirrel accidentally falls into a chimney space while exploring the surrounding trees. Some chimneys have bricks jutting out from inside your stack, making it easier for them to come and go. Chimneys provide an incredibly cozy and warm space, which makes them an ideal spot for squirrels to build a nest. A female squirrel can have her babies inside However, this can quickly turn into a nuisance when they enter your house through the fireplace. Though a squirrel’s natural instinct is to find a hollow tree to call home, a chimney can easily become a substitute in urban areas. The vertical structure of a chimney resembles a tree trunk, making it an appealing option for these agile creatures. Installing a sturdy steel chimney cap can help prevent these furry invaders from making their way inside your home.

Dangers of Squirrels in Chimneys

Having squirrels in your chimney may seem like a harmless idea, but it can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Not only can squirrels cause damage to your chimney, but they can also cause a fire hazard. Imagine a scenario where a squirrel falls into your fireplace or gets stuck in the chimney and dies. The decaying body can cause a terrible odor and attract other wild animals, such as raccoons and rats, into your home. Sometimes if the carcass of a dead squirrel is unreachable, a long chimney snare pole can be used. It is important to remember that if these animals are still alive, they should be treated with caution. To prevent a potentially hazardous situation, it is recommended to seek professional services to remove any wildlife animals from your chimney. AAA Affordable Wildlife Control can remove any dead squirrels and/or install a one way exit door in the mesh over top to give the live ones a passage out to find food. Once they depart, the door closes. No need to set traps to catch them – the squirrel removal procedure will go much smoother if we let them exit the house on their own.

Fire Hazard

Many homeowners love the cozy and warm feeling a fireplace in their home gives them during the winter. However, the thought of a squirrel entering their chimney is not something most people consider. The first danger is the possibility of a fire. If the squirrel brings nesting material in with them, they could accidentally block the chimney and cause smoke to back up into your home or even start a fire. Alternatively, if a squirrel fell into the chimney and were stuck or trapped, or into your fireplace, they can panic causing damage to your glass doors and potentially escape into your entire house. It is also important to note that people tend to underestimate the potential damage a squirrel can cause in their chimney. Don’t let your home become compromised by these critters, take preventative measures to ensure your chimney is safe.

Health Risks

While a family of squirrels may seem cute and harmless as they run along your roof or scamper across your yard, they can pose serious health risks if they take up residence in your chimney. Dead squirrels can block your fireplace damper, causing a horrendous odor in your house, and can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, while live squirrels can cause damage with their sharp claws and introduce parasites that carry diseases. Additionally, if there are little squirrels or babies inside your chimney, they can be difficult to remove and may attract other unwanted pests. It’s always better to take preventative measures and keep squirrels out of your chimney altogether.

Steps to Take If You Discover a Squirrels in The Chimney

So, what do you do if you find yourself with an uninvited squirrel guest?

Step 1: Stay Calm

Discovering squirrels in your chimney can be an unexpected surprise for any homeowner. While it’s understandable to panic in this kind of situation, it’s crucial to stay calm and collected. Attempting to remove the animal by force or with insufficient tools may result in the squirrel getting stuck or causing damage to the chimney. It’s important to bear in mind that these critters aren’t necessarily trying to wreak havoc in your home; they might be searching for a warm place to stay. Besides, startling one squirrel might cause it to panic and act in a way that could potentially harm themselves or others. Taking a deep breath, calling a professional, and waiting patiently can save both you and the squirrel from a world of trouble.

Step 2: Verify the Presence of a Squirrel

Are you hearing scratching, scampering, or chattering noises from inside your chimney? You might have a furry intruder living in your flue. Don’t fall for the scampering sounds of a small family of squirrels that have taken up residence in your home. If bad weather has driven these critters into your warm and cozy chimney, it’s important to take swift action. Blocking the damper with a cap may prevent more squirrels from entering the chimney, but it won’t solve the problem of the squirrel(s) that are already there. Verifying the presence of squirrels with the help of professionals is the best way to prevent any further damage to your home.

Step 3: Open the Fireplace Damper

If you’ve noticed some strange noises coming from the top of the chimney, there’s a good chance you might have some unwelcome visitors. Squirrels are known for getting trapped in chimneys, so it’s important to act fast to ensure their safety and prevent any damage. Once confirmed that it is squirrels, suit up with a thick glove and carefully open the damper. Give the squirrels a clear escape route by opening a door or removing the grate, and voila – all the squirrels will find their way out the door (of course, you’ll want to seal up any openings in the chimney to prevent any more visits from furry friends). With this simple plan, you can give the squirrels a chance to escape and avoid them getting stuck in a wall cavity. Plus, you get to enjoy your cozy fire without any unwanted guests disrupting the peace.

Step 4: Create an Escape Route for the Squirrel

There’s another way to create an escape route for a squirrel stuck in your chimney.

Using a Rope or a Ladder

If you’ve got a squirrel stuck in your chimney, don’t panic! There’s an easy, humane solution to get them out safely without causing any harm to the little critter. Head to the hardware store and grab yourself a thick rope, or maybe even a sturdy ladder if you have one. With a bit of ingenuity and some patience, you can create a “rope trick” and coax the squirrel out of the chimney with minimal stress. They’re great climbers so knot the heavy rope at intervals to make it easier for the squirrel to climb up, then lower the knotted rope down the chimney slowly. Voila! Once the squirrel has climbed up, simply remove the rope or ladder, have AAA Affordable Wildlife Control remove the nest material, and mesh over the top of your chimney stack, and once again you’ll be squirrel-free. Removing squirrels really is that easy.

Securing the Area

If you’re attempting the rope trick, be sure to secure the area around the fireplace to prevent the squirrel from running amok inside your home.

Step 5: Wait and Observe

After that, wait and observe. Give the squirrel some time to find its way out. Be patient, it might take a while. A mother squirrel and her young squirrels, any animals alive inside must venture out to find food and water eventually.

Step 6: Call for Professional Help if Needed

If the squirrel doesn’t leave on its own, it’s time to call in the professionals. Contact AAA Affordable Wildlife Control for a free estimate. They will come to safely and humanely remove the squirrel from your chimney.

Preventing Future Squirrel Intrusions

Now, to prevent future squirrel intrusions, there are a few steps you can take.

Secure Your Chimney Cap

Firstly, ensure that your chimney cap is secure. A damaged or missing chimney cap is an open invitation for squirrels and other critters to enter your chimney.

Trim Nearby Trees and Bushes

Secondly, trim any nearby trees and bushes. Overhanging branches provide easy access to your roof and chimney.


In conclusion, while a squirrel in the chimney might seem like a big problem, it’s actually a common occurrence. By following these simple steps, you can safely and humanely remove the squirrel and prevent future intrusions. Remember, when in doubt, call in the professionals!


  1. What should I do if there are baby squirrels in the chimney?
  • If you discover baby squirrels in the chimney, contact a local wildlife rescue organization for guidance.
  1. Can I use a live trap to catch the squirrel?
  • While you can use a live ground trap to catch the squirrel, it’s best to leave this method to the professionals to avoid injury to yourself or the animal.
  1. What if the squirrel has died in the chimney?
  • If the squirrel has died in the chimney, contact a professional wildlife removal service to safely and sanitarily remove the carcass.
  1. Can I smoke the squirrel out of the chimney?
  • No, do not attempt to smoke the squirrel out of the chimney. This is dangerous for both you and the squirrel.
  1. Is it legal to kill a squirrel that has entered my chimney?
  • The legality of killing a squirrel varies by location. In some places, it is illegal to kill native wildlife. Always check local laws and regulations before taking any action.