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Raccoons Living in a Chimney

We bought a 30 year old house 5 years ago that was last lived in by a guy who thought he was handy. Besides replacing and grounding all the wall outlets, we have been redoing a lot of his projects. Your site provides a lot of insight.


The immediate problem is raccoons. They are living in the chimney. We hear scratching and what sounds like construction in the living room wall. I went on the roof yesterday and lowered a trouble light down. The fireplace is a single brick, 3 sided structure with what looks like cellotex on the wall side of the house. I have a feeling it does not meet the current codes. It has 3 clay flues, only one of which is being used as a flue for the furnace and water heater. It is capped. The other 2 are not capped, and there is a lot of empty space.

We do not have a fireplace. The mortar is in good shape inside. I will be reconstructing the top 4 rows of brick and the cap this summer, as the cement has spalled badly. We have a CO meter in the basement, and have had no alarms, so there does not seem to be any blockage in the furnace flue.

I observed 2 roundish holes in the wallboard. One is about 4 feet up from the bottom, and is where we hear the critters in the living room wall. The cats watch it intently. The other hole is where the attic floor is. There is no real access to the attic, only a small trapdoor in a closet in the middle of the house. The cats pay no attention to the ceiling, so I don't think they spend much time up there.

We are on pretty fixed incomes, so a pro is out of the question. The state Fish and Wildlife can't help. The ASPCA said to lower a radio set to a rap station LOUD and this might encourage them to leave. I'm not sure. I coated the extension cord with a Vaseline and red pepper mix so they don't chew it, zapping them might be a good idea, but they stink to high heaven when decomposing.

Any ideas? I can't observe the chimney 24/7, so how do I know when they are gone or out 'cooning around? I will cap the two flues when they are gone, and put coon-be-gone around to keep them from coming back.

Something that makes this even more problematic is the "handyman" (remember him?) built a garage on the side of the house where the chimney is. We have no idea what the construction inside that wall is like. Just in case they chew thru the plaster side into the living room, I keep my 12 gage by the couch.

Any and all advice will be welcomed.

Looking for good raccoon recipes in Ohio.
Debi from Youngstown, OH

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I would try putting moth balls down the chimney

I heard they will leave the area because they don't like them

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I had a neighbor that had raccoons actually taking vent covers off the eves and raising babies in their attic. They even tried traps provided by animal control. What cause the racoons to leave was mothballs---lots of mothballs. The house smelled horrible for a while, but the racoonss decided to live elsewhere.


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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

Hashed Coon

Skin and clean raccoon

Boil meat in water, with:

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp oregeno

1 tsp basil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 TBLSP worchestershire sauce

until falling off the bone.

Remove bones, return meat to seasoned water


3 diced potatoes

one diced green pepper

one diced onion

Cook until potatoes are tender

(Any wild game can be subbed for raccoon)

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

I know this sounds really crazy but put chocolate bars there. We had a bad problem in the top of our barn last year with raccoons and they were actually coming out in the evening while we were in there. I was worried about my girls getting bitten so i did some research. so i have 2 suggestions....

First can try to trap them with marshmallows...they absoloutly love them. We have a trap that we purchased at our local farm and tractor store. As soon as we caught it....and took it somewhere else it would come back or tell its friend...because we always seemed to have 3 adults and we would be back in the same boat we started in.

I was told by an old farmer that they hate the smell of chocolate. So i went to the grocery store and bought a package of Hershey bars. Broke them up and placed them all about the barn. We didnt have a problem again until this past fall. i am assuming the chocolate got eaten by other critters but did seem to work.

We also got a bag of hair from the local beauty salon and sprinkled it throughout the barn. It carries the "human" scent and deters many preditors. Hope this helps. Just be very careful because they can be nasty especially if they have babies to protect.

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

I don't know my parents acutally had the same problem...they were left awake many nights to the sratching, thumping, pounding at night and found out from an exterminator that it's bats living up in their attic so I don't know if you have actually had someone come in tell you this information but you may want to watch what your doing if you don't know exactly what the animal is. Maybe whom ever would come and look at it and fix the problem would be able to do a finance plan for you so you can do small payments. My parents have to pay $1000 to get rid of the bats. Good Luck to you!

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

I have been invaded by a racoon family in my garage! In the kennel portion they literally chewed through the asphalt shingles and roof! We boarded that over and I set off a flea bomb that seemed to get rid of them, but I later learned that they moved into the garage attic! I tried moth balls and all they did was play with them. They tore up all the insulation and destroyed one part of the garage. Now they are tearing up stored documents, etc. that are kept in the attic. I declared war and lobbed four flea bombs up there, along with some rat killer. I also hooked up a stobe light and ran it 24/7. I was hoping that they would either choke to death on the fumes or croak from the poison. No such luck! Then I bought hot dogs and stuffed them with rat pellets. They appeared to eat them, but I'm still hearing them up there. What's it going to take to drive these suckers away??

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August 12, 20070 found this helpful

If you want a hassel free remedy hire a professional at least to cap the chimney once they raccoons are either removed or leave.

Remember moth balls are highly toxic and usually do not work for raccoon removal. Read the label for your safety.

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

Moth Balls. Raccoons & skunks hate mothballs. Expose them to mothballs & they will leave.

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