I am reblogging this, it was originally posted to my old livejournal blog in March of 2006, it happened in our old house. We got a new chimney cap in 2008 when we had a new roof put on. And then we moved away in 2010, one of the first things we checked here was if the chimney had a cap. It has a screen, so...no squirrels. :)
How to remove a squirrel stuck in your water heater vent pipe in 11 easy steps.
1. Freak the hell out over a noise in the basement.
Call husband and tell him he needs to go find some men at work and ask
what to do because there seems to be a bird stuck in exhaust pipe that
leads from the chimney to the water heater. Once he realizes that there
is a real live wild animal trapped in the house he stops arguing that he
IS, in fact, a man and says he will call back as soon as he finds some.
Then wait for him to come home so I can make him clean it up if the
bird dies during extraction. I do plumbing, but corpse removal has
always been J's department in this marriage and I see no reason to
change this now.
3. Prepare to take the vent, um, thing, the
little hat business, off the heater and have a pillow case ready to
catch the bird, which is fighting and screaming in there. When several
minutes pass with NO BIRD, shine a flashlight up in there, squabble with
your husband over who has to look up the tube, lose that fight and
gingerly take a peek and realize it's a SQUIRREL and it's looking right
at you with it's beady eyes.
4. Freak the hell out again. Oh
LAWD, it's a SQUIRREL, it has beady little eyes! Take a few minutes to
scream right into the tube which will cause the squirrel to scream back
at you. I did this around 4 times for good measure.
this is one of those things you are going to have to lay out some money
to deal with and soon find out after a series of phone calls that there
are some things people just don't want to help you with, even for cash
money. Who knew?
6. Finally call the humane society and have a
wildlife expert talk me through Squirrel Relaxation and Removal 101. The
guy will have to stop and laugh several times during this conversation.
Just suck it up and take good notes.
7. Cover all your basement
windows with cardboard to black them out. Use plenty of duct tape, it
will stick to spiderwebs. This is not the time to freak about the
spiderwebs. Turn off all the lights in the basement, BUT wait til right
before you go up or being in a pitch black basement will still give you
the freaks, even if you are 32. Shut up, it was DARK. Put a large bowl
of ammonia down there to stink up the basement and stink out the
8. Open the back door wide open and let the sun and
fresh air stream down the stairs and hope the little bastard will make a
break for freedom. Sprinkle flour by the back door so that you can see
the tracks after it escapes. Sprinkle more flour after your husband
walks in it with his big manfeet. Also, you can put a few peanuts in the
shell out under the tube to entice the squirrel. That was The Man's
9. At this point the wildlife experts advise leaving the
house. However, other experts in the local wild life, such as my
neighborhood watch liaison, Officer Shelly Lubis, would advise one to
not do anything as stupid as leaving your house wide open like that. You
will come home and find no squirrel, but quite likely also no washer,
no dryer, no television and no computers. So I just quietly knit and J
read on the sofa until he went upstairs to take a nap with the cats who
were in jail. Also, no I did not call the MPD to ask about that. For
10. Wait 3 hours until you hear thump, screech, rustle
rustle skitter skitter skitter and VOILA! You have removed your first
squirrel from your dwelling! Check the floor for tracks, realize several
peanuts are missing and go bang on the pipe and joyfully hear silence!
No scratching, no screaming, no squirelling! Victory is yours.
Let out the cats and be shunned by Marge who had plans for that
squirrel and will never forgive you for keeping him locked away for all
the good stuff. Clean up all the damn flour and peanut shells.