There are times when a squirrel will enter in a chimney and they will not be able to climb back out, so they may try to get out from the fireplace. When you hear a squirrel in the chimney, it is very possibly trapped unless you are sure that it is capable to climb back out on its own.
You should not use smoke to chase away the squirrels or any other trapped animal in the chimney. When the animal has been trapped, you may be able to use noise to chase it away.
Try to use a three quarter-inch or even a thicker rope in the chimney so that it can be able to escape. You have to tie one end of a rope at the top of the chimney before you lower it inside. The rope should be long enough to reach the smoke shelf or damper. You should not lower into the chimney something that you are not able to retrieve easily. A squirrel can climb on a rope and it will escape in just a few hours. When you know that the squirrel has escaped, you have to remove the rope and get a commercial cap to close off the chimney.
When the squirrel is in a fireplace behind a screen or behind glass, you should use noise to scare it off to go back in the damper. You can then close the damper and it will follow an escape route direction.
If a squirrel refuses to leave a fireplace, then you should use a suitable live trap to get it out. Before you decide to open your fireplace to set up a trap, close the interior doors around the room and then open an exterior window and the door that faces the fireplace so that you can give the squirrel the chance to get out.
Use peanut butter to bait a live trap and then set it in a careful manner within the fireplace. A squirrel can retract to go back to the corner of a fireplace when the door has opened and it will stay there. You can place the live trap quietly and slowly and just leave it in the room.
Make sure that there is a cap on the chimney since most of the time the squirrel will fall in the chimney or in the fireplace by accident.
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