The Best Ways to Protect Your Fireplace from Unwelcome Pests
Fireplaces are welcome additions to any property. They add value and comfort and make a real difference to the way a room feels overall. However, just like any place in a property, they can find themselves hosting unwanted pests! These are typical household pests that can nest down in a number of places, but fireplaces do tend to attract them nevertheless. The guide below has some common warning signs and prevention methods to keep your fireplace safe in any weather.
Fireplaces in the Home
Fireplaces can be in any room in a house, though a living room is the most typical. A range of styles and functions are available from these antique selections from Stonewoods to post-modern designs and everything in between. Though they are intended as a heat source, they can also be used as a décor feature too. However, owing to the chimney mechanism (used to extract all the harmful byproducts away from the home), they are vulnerable to pest invasions.
Common Fireplace Pests
Below are some of the most common fireplace pests that every fire owner should be aware of. You may never see any of these on your property, or you might be unfortunate enough to have to deal with all of them over time. Regardless, to stay responsible, you have to know what could be waiting to nest to properly learn how to address the invasion.
There are a number of birds that may decide to make their home in your chimney. It is warm, the perfect size, relatively safe from predators, and generally an appealing option. Birds are one of the most typical things to fall down the chimney breast and into your living room (or fly down by accident) as well, which can lead to other problems! However, if you spot the signs of birds nesting, it is important to take action.
- Visible sightings of the birds on your roof where the chimney juts out.
- Twigs and other debris dropping down into your fireplace more often than usual.
- Feathers and bird waste.
- The noise of wings or bird songs close by (in relation to the fireplace and chimney).
It is against the law to move an active bird nest so you have to be very careful when dealing with this issue.
Rodents can be found in the chimney, but they are overall more likely to take up residence behind the fire inside the wall cavity surrounding area. Rodents are extremely sneaky and have adapted to be able to stay clear away from humans when they need to so you have to know the signs. These include droppings, sightings, sounds, and mysterious nibbles from food here and there. If you have any cats or dogs, they also might be focusing intensely on a particular patch of wall, etc.
Bees and Wasps
Finally, bees and wasps are known to make their nests inside chimneys and fireplaces. It is the perfect spot for them as it ticks all the boxes, and they don’t tend to move once they’ve bedded down for a while. The big problem here, of course, is that bees and wasps tend to gather in their hundreds and even thousands in some cases. Colony counts can certainly be large, to say the least, so you might become highly disturbed as a result of their move in.
Prevention and Protection Methods
With all these threats dotted around, you might be wondering if it’s even worth having a fireplace at all. Well, it is if you know how to prevent and protect your space. Thankfully, there are some easy things that anyone can do.
Being Mindful and Watching for Signs
The first thing is to read and research if you think you might have a problem. Understanding the signs can help you make a better, and more informed assessment of what is happening in your fireplace and chimney. Look for typical signs of pest invasion like an increase in sounds, smells, and debris, and always take action as soon as things pop up.
- Debris falling down such as twigs, feathers, and leaves that wouldn’t typically find their way to your chimney independently.
- Noises like buzzing, chirping, flapping, scuttering, and clicking are all cause for concern and should be properly investigated.
- Droppings and other unwanted smells coming down or around the fireplace. These could also be found on the roof of the property.
Mesh installation is a fairly standard procedure that can be applied to the majority of chimney tops. This should ideally be installed by a professional so that the entire unit stays safe and continues to perform well. Exploring chimney caps at the same time is also a great idea.
Chimney Sweeping Services
It is highly recommended (and a legal requirement) that you get a chimney sweep on a regular basis. How often you get your chimney swept is up to you, but it should be done after a period of inactivity especially before lighting the fire again. Sweeping services aim to clear the flue and ensure that debris regardless of what it is, is removed and cleared from the path so there are no blockages and zero risk of fire. It can highlight any issues and deter pests from setting in if you do this regularly enough.
The Dangers of Pests in the Fireplace and Chimney
If these signs are left unchecked, there is a real danger that things will become unmanageable. You will not only have a pest problem on your hands, but you could be looking at a chimney fire because of a blockage build up or not being able to use your fire at all if you have an active nest in the way. That is why it is essential to take preventative action and look after your fireplace at all times and in all seasons.
Protecting your fireplace from unwanted pests might look like a number of things. While some steps are there to stop a problem from taking hold, other steps are necessary after an invasion is already underway. Hopefully, if you manage to protect your fireplace, pests won’t get the chance to invade at all!