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The first thing you need to do when you have a squirrel stuck in the fireplace, is work out how the creature has become stuck. The first thing you do not need to do when you have a squirrel stuck in the fireplace, is turn the fire on. Do not do that. Ever. Why? Because it’ll smell, and you’ll need to stand there and listen to that animal scream as it burns alive. It is the LEAST humane way that you could deal with the problem, and once the animal has died, you then have a bigger problem on your hands. You will then need to work out how you can retrieve a dead, burned, decomposing squirrel body that has gotten stuck in the fireplace. Oh, and you’ll probably need to work out where the babies are too. Because a squirrel is very rarely one squirrel on its own. If it’s scampering around on your roof, close enough to fall into the chimney, it’ll be a mother squirrel that is looking for a perfect spot to hide her babies, or she’s already found it … in your home.
If you can, open the door to the front of the fireplace and let the squirrel out. Ensure that the squirrel has a run way to the front or back door, and that it cant get anywhere other than out the door. You don’t want to let the squirrel out of the fireplace, and then have it stuck in your home, running around like rabid lunatic. Which it will. It’ll be scared, as you probably would be in the same situation. Remember that. Proceed with caution.
If you can’t do that, try looking at things from the top instead. Could you lower a piece of rope or old bed sheet down into the fireplace to allow the squirrel to clamber up and rescue itself? Look down with a flashlight — can you see the squirrel? Does it have babies? What can you hear? Does it sound like you have more than one squirrel down there? Or in your surrounding area? You should probably also take a look around the roof while you're there, because the squirrel was up there for a reason, and it certainly wasn’t just to admire the view.
If you are completely stuck, and you aren’t sure what the safest way to remove the squirrel is, seek professional advice. Most wildlife control experts will be more than happy to give you some free advice over the phone, and if you give us a call, we can even arrange for same-day callouts for those emergency wild animal situations.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does squirrel removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of squirrels - my main squirrel removal info guide.
Example squirrel trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Squirrel job blog - learn from great examples of squirrel jobs I've done.
squirrels in the attic