How can you know that you have a squirrel in the chimney? By the noise. You will hear scratching during the day and during the night. This noise is the evidence of a squirrel presence in the chimney. It is possible to distinguish squirrel sounds from the sounds of other rodents (such as raccoons or rats) because squirrels create easy to distinguish sounds.
There are several ways to get a squirrel out from the chimney. For one, if you can get down the chimney from the attic, it is possible to grab the squirrel mother with a pole from above. However, this is most often a task that should be left to the professionals before you try to take on this task yourself. If you do not have experience with squirrels, you could end up harming them as you try to remove them.
If you don't see a squirrel mother but just the babies, it might be a good idea to get the babies out and use them as a bait in a classic trap in another close by location to get the mother inside the trap. After you get the mother squirrel in the trap, you can safely relocate the entire family to another location that will be somewhere far away from your home.
Squirrels are animals with strong nurturing and protective instincts that are above all other instincts, and they will do everything to protect their nest with the babies in it. Offensive scents aren't something that will affect a squirrel mother.
The only safe way to get the squirrel out of the chimney is by using traps – primarily snare-and-pole traps that enable safe hooking and removing of the squirrel mother and her babies out of the chimney. Once you get the mother squirrel out of the chimney, then get into action to remove the babies – don't do it the other way around, as the mother will do her best to protect the babies, which will include biting or scratching you.
As we have already mentioned, the best way to handle this matter is to contact professionals, because they will know the safest way to get the squirrel out of the chimney without harming it.
Under no circumstances should you light a fire with the intention to get the squirrels out with smoke – you will only manage to kill them with smoke, which is an inhumane and cruel way to deal with squirrels in the chimney.
Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page.