Birds, nests and pest control for chimneys

Chimneys can unwittingly house all manner of different insects and animals. Here we look at a few of the most common scenarios and explain what you can do if you encounter a problem.
What to do if you suspect a bees’ nest in your chimney?
clip_image001Bees often settle in chimneys as they are conveniently out of use during the warmer months. A bees’ nest can be dangerous if not dealt with as they can block parts of the chimney which might stop it from doing its job. This means that smoke, fumes and, most importantly, gases such as carbon dioxide from your fire are unable to escape.
If you hear buzzing noises coming from your chimney you should take a look outside to see if there are signs of bee activity or movement around your chimney pot.
If you suspect bees may have taken up residence in your chimney then you may be able to smoke them out, but only if they have been there less than a few days. If they have been there any longer than this then you may need to contact a pest control expert who will be able to advise you on the best course of action without breaking any rules for protecting certain types of bees.
What to do if a bird is stuck in your chimney?
It can be a distressing experience for everyone involved when a bird unwittingly gets trapped inside a chimney. Birds will often make their nests on top of chimneys and as such can easily find themselves stuck and unable to fly to their escape.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to have a bird guard installed. This stops birds from becoming trapped in the first place.
Helping a bird out of a chimney can often be a difficult task. If you have an open bottom at the end of your chimney then one avenue to try is to shine a torch or bright light so that the bird, which is probably disorientated, can see an exit.
You should then take care to open doors or windows in the room where your fireplace is, again so that the bird has an avenue to escape.
If your chimney has a fitted fireplace then you may need to have it removed. You will need an engineer to remove it and they must be Gas Safe registered.
If you fear that the bird is injured then you should contact your local branch of wild life services like the RSPB to advise you on the best course of action.
For more information on maintaining your chimney read our full guide here.

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