What to do if there's a dead animal in your chimney?

Wild animals have evolved over the many years to be able to adapt and survive alongside human beings, with modern household pests constantly striving to come up with inventive new ways of getting inside our homes. But whilst many creatures make good climbers or burrowers, there are some that are only good at one or the other, or sometimes neither.

For example, rats are one of the hardiest species in the world and are able to jump, swim, and climb in order to get inside. Flying squirrels, by comparison, have all the expert climbing skills of regular squirrels but can also easily get onto your roof by leaping and gliding from nearby trees. Regardless of their skills, most creatures will have no problem scaling your home and reaching your roof.

This poses a number of problems for homeowners, as pests have so many different means and routes of getting inside your home and it can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly to seal it all up effectively. For example, you may need to do a thorough internal and external inspection of your house, including basements and crawl spaces, to properly identify every trouble spot. Some pests are also capable of scaling up chimneys and getting inside via your fireplace, but this is not always an easy route. 

Dead Animal Inside Chimney

Many animals may get stuck attempting to climb down it, potentially even being injured in the process that stops them from being able to get back out again. Capping your chimney can be an effective remedy for this which takes little time or effort, and will certainly, stop a number of creatures from trying to enter this way.If an animal does manage to get stuck whilst inside, it will not be long before they succumb either to exhaustion, dehydration, or hunger. But animals can also die in your chimney or fireplace if you choose to kill them by using harmful pesticides or other chemicals. Whilst it may be tempting, killing unwanted visitors this way can result in more problems later on, as dealing with a dead animal carcass is never pleasant.

Either way, if you do have a dead animal in your chimney, it will need to be dealt with quickly. For starters, dead animals still carry many hazardous pathogens that can affect the health of your family and other household pets, which can easily be transmitted by fleas or other bugs. Also, once the body starts to decompose, it will give off an incredibly pungent and foul odor.

Not only is the smell of decay unpleasant, but it can also help spread diseases and severely impact the health of anyone who smells it. Lastly, a decomposing body will no doubt attract a host of other unwanted pests like maggots, flies, and cockroaches which will give you even more headaches to contend with.

Dead Animal Inside Chimney

What to do if the dead animal is in your fireplace?

If the dead animal is in your fireplace, removing it will be a lot simpler. To start, you will need to make sure your face, eyes, and hands are properly covered with safety equipment so that no part of you comes into contact with the animal. 

This way, you will be protected from catching any disease it may be carrying, or transmitting it to your family. Once removed, the fireplace will need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to eradicate any lingering pathogens.

What to do if the dead animal is in your chimney?

However, if you can smell a foul odor coming from the fireplace but cannot see anything, then the animal undoubtedly died whilst inside the chimney. This means you will have a much harder time, and it may be better to simply hire a professional service to remove it for you. Be warned, though, that it may end up being impossible to remove it depending on the type of chimney you have and where it got stuck, meaning you may have to let it decompose naturally.

Identify where the animal is stuck

To start, try to identify where in the chimney the animal is stuck by opening the damper fully and shining a torch through it at the bottom. If you can see it, and it is not lodged between any of the flues and the brick, you could try cleaning the chimney with a standard sweeping brush, as this may dislodge the animal, or else use a chimney hook to grab the animal’s body.

Get professional advice

If you can see it has been stuck between the flues and the bricks, however, you will almost certainly need to get some professional help. Even then, they may not be able to clear it, in which case they may suggest your only option is to let the body decompose and be consumed by maggots. This means you will need to use strong deodorants or improve ventilation as much as
possible to cover up or remove the unpleasant odor whilst the body decomposes.

Select Your Animal


Raccoon Removal Information & How-To Tips


Squirrel Removal Information & How-To Tips


Opossum Removal Information & How-To Tips


Skunks Removal Information & How-To Tips


Rat Removal Information & How-To Tips


Mouse Removal Information & How-To Tips


Bat Removal Information & How-To Tips


Bird Removal Information & How-To Tips


Snake Removal Information & How-To Tips


Beaver Removal Information & How-To Tips


Mole Removal Information & How-To Tips


Vole Removal Information & How-To Tips


Gopher Removal Information & How-To Tips


Rabbit Removal Information & How-To Tips


Woodchuck Removal Information & How-To Tips

Flying Squirrel

Flying Squirrel Removal Information & How-To Tips


Chipmunk Removal Information & How-To Tips


Coyote Removal Information & How-To Tips


Fox Removal Information & How-To Tips

Wild Hog

Wild Hog Removal Information & How-To Tips

Dead Animal

Dead Animal Removal Information & How-To Tips