December 17, 2019
Last week we discussed pests that like to hitchhike into our homes via firewood. This week we are talking about a similar pest occurrence, except this time we are taking a look at pests that enjoy using the fireplace and chimney as their “winter getaway.” Read on to learn about pests that may find your fireplace a welcome respite from the cold and snow of this coming winter.
Whether you use your fireplace often during the winter months, or never at all, these well hidden, warm, protected spots are an ideal location for raccoons, squirrels, birds, and other larger pests to ride out the long, cold winter. Here are a few suggestions for ways to ensure that your fireplace remains pest-free this winter.
Buy Local Firewood
Always buy wood that has been cut locally. Non-native pests could travel to a new region if firewood is shipped in from another area.
Store the Wood Outside
At some point in the world of interior decorating, storing firewood as a part of an interior winter design became “in.” Do not store your wood inside your home even if it adds to the winter decor. Use it as soon as you bring it to the fireplace. The warmth of a home can cause any pests that are still hiding under the bark, like roaches or beetles, to emerge.
See how this family to the right stores their wood indoors. This is just asking for pests to emerge in your home.
Inspect the Chimney Cap
All chimneys should have a cap that protects the fireplace from wildlife that may find itself on your roof at some point. Without a chimney cap, birds, mice, rats, raccoons, bats, and squirrels can manage to find their way into your chimney and then, into your home. Check every fall and winter to ensure that your cap is correctly installed. Wind and storms can jar these pieces off so make sure to do an annual inspection before the weather turns.
Shut the Flue
When the fireplace is not being used homeowners should shut the flue. The chimney flue will not only block any unwanted critters from finding their way into your home, but it will also cut back on your heating bills too!
Use a Fireplace Grate
As an added measure of protection from flying embers as well as pests, many homeowners use a metal grate that can seal the fireplace. This will keep any pests that have managed to bypass the cap and flue from getting further into your home.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
Since fireplaces go unused for a majority of the year in our region, it is a good idea to have an annual inspection to be sure that you have all the safeguards in place and that pests have not found a way into your chimney or fireplace area.
If you have questions or a potential pest infestation, contact our specialists by calling 800.287.4321 or via our website contact page.