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Yes, certain repellents MIGHT work to get raccoons out of the chimney, but there is a very high chance that you're going to fail with more of them than you will have success with.
There are a number of repellents you could look at:
- Granule or liquid based repellents (such as taste/smell aversion)
- Water-based repellents (such as outdoor sprinkler systems)
- Sound-based repellents (such as ultrasonic noise devices)
- Light-based repellents (such as intruder lights in the back yard)
- Scare tactics (such as predator mimicking items — smell, sound, etc.)
There are pros and cons for using each of these, of course, but light and sound devices have shown to have decreased effectiveness in this day and age. Raccoons are seemingly more active during the day than they were known to be a couple of decades ago, and they are also more comfortable living alongside people. Their fear and wariness of us has gone down a little, which means traditional repelling methods are less likely to work.
Granule, liquid, and other taste or smell aversion tactics will need to be replaced or reapplied regularly, which will soon add up when you tally the long-term and mounting costs. It is not uncommon for homeowners and business owners to spend hundreds of dollars on repellents and deterrents for raccoons, to no avail — wildlife rehabilitators are the cheapest option in these cases, usually costing only a couple of hundred dollars for a relatively simple raccoon removal job.
The problem with raccoons in the chimney is that you could put all of the repellents in the world down there, but if the animal is stuck, it still won't be able to get out. Out of all the raccoon repellents on the market, the only one that we have had any real success with has been raccoon eviction fluid, also known as wildlife eviction fluid. Even this won't have any effect on the situation when the raccoon can't get itself out. If you believe that you have raccoons stuck in the chimney, there are a few things you can try … and none of them are reliant on repellents.
You could try to lower a rope or similar material down into the chimney. If the smooth, metal flue is preventing the raccoon (and potential kits) from getting out, the texture surface will allow them to cling up and scurry out. Affix the material to the top of the chimney securely and then go and make yourself a cup of coffee. After a couple of hours, have another look and you might just find that your furry friend has gone. If it hasn't, go away again — raccoons are nocturnal and might wait until nighttime before they move, using the cover of darkness to keep them safe.
If you take a peek the next morning and can see still raccoons in the chimney, it means that your rope/material-lowering hasn't worked. You will need to take into consideration that either the raccoon doesn't want to leave, or it can't — it might be injured and, therefore, unable to rescue itself.
You will, undoubtedly, find a hundred and one different recommendations for ways to get raccoons out of the chimney, but in reality, only a few of them will be viable. Snare traps aren't something that you will have lying around in the garden shed (usually), so you may need to call upon the assistance of a pest control expert to get access to one. Leaving the animal there isn't an option, because that will lead to the entire family of raccoons (if there are more than one) dying, sending a dastardly scent around your home. You can't turn the fire on all the while animals are in your chimney either, for the same smell/dead animal reason.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
Raccoons in the attic - what to do to solve the problem.