Monday, June 8, 2015

The Raccoon Saga

When the kids came up to meet us in Bear Lake, they mentioned that they had heard some sort of animal in the chimney/fireplace in the basement.
They could hear it moving around and making noises.
It sounded large...not a squirrel or bird...more like a Raccoon.

Sure enough.

I could hear it moving around in the evening.
I could hear it snoring in the daytime.
When we jiggled the handle on the flue, it would growl.

We weren't sure if it was stuck or not.

So I started doing some research on how to get a raccoon out of your chimney.
Turns out it is quite common to get a raccoon in your chimney.
Chimneys are like a nice hollow tree as far as a raccoon is concerned.
They can climb in and out, no problem.

So what we most likely had was a Raccoon and her babies.

Of course, during this time, Frank went out of town.
I called an animal exterminator.
No one called me back.
Still haven't.
I looked up how to remove a raccoon from your chimney on the internet.
I looked for some sort of animal control in my area.
I found a lot of ideas but none of them seemed like something I wanted to do myself.

So a few days ago, after he got back from his business trip,
Frank got some smoke bombs and put them down the chimney.
According to the internet, this is a good way to get the mom to gather her babies and find a new place.

The smoke did cause the mom to leave.
She didn't have any babies so we didn't know if she left them behind or if there weren't any.

And she is HUGE.

After she left, Frank put caps on our chimney to keep her out.

Well, there were babies.
She has come back every evening to our roof.

We even got a picture of her climbing our tree to get on the roof.

Can you see her peaking out from behind the chimney?

Tonight I was at a neighborhood party and I mentioned the raccoon.
Other people have seen it around the neighborhood.
I told them I thought there were dead babies in my chimney...
my basement, just today, is having a funky odor.

One of the neighbors offered to come over and take a look.

We looked from the top
We looked from inside the fireplace
We opened the flue expecting babies to fall down.
So my neighbor reached up to try to see if he could grab anything...
and he touched a baby raccoon who moved and made noises.


So we removed the cap on the chimney in the hopes that mama will return tonight and take her baby (babies?) with her.
The chimney cap is completely covered with little bloody paw prints where that mama was trying to remove it and get to her babies.

I don't love raccoons...they are a nuisance and can be quite mean...but I sure felt bad when I saw those bloody prints.

I haven't seen her yet.
I spent all evening sitting by the back door watching for her.
I hope she hasn't given up.

But even if she does come back and take the live babies with her
I'm pretty sure I've got some dead ones in there as well.

I'm back to wondering how to deal with them.

This is not my idea of a good time.


  1. Wow! That is so crazy/amazing/sad! I'm glad you found out what it was.

  2. Oh man that's so sad! The bloody paw prints! Our dog has been crazy this July. It's monsoon season and she's terrified of thunder and lightning, then add in fireworks and she is nuts. Last night she actually came in and jumped on our bed, sheets and all (and she is FILTHY and sheds like crazy so there is dog hair everywhere). So last night we put her outside and let her fend for herself, and this morning there was a dead baby bunny on our driveway! Our stupid dog killed a baby bunny! I was so mad at her she's been tied up in the backyard all day even with the thunder. She didn't want to EAT it, she just wanted to KILL it. I hate dogs.