Funny story . . .
One evening, we were sitting in the living room, and we heard chirping in the chimney. It sounded like birds. We’ve had birds in the chimney before. To get them out, I would open the flue, allow the birds to fly out, capture them with a blanket, and release them outside.
So, you can imagine my surprise when we saw three baby raccoons fall into the fire pit instead of birds! I knew if there were baby raccoons, the momma was close behind. As we quickly closed the glass fireplace door and held it shut, sure enough, the momma raccoon popped her head out, grunting to her babies as they squealed for their momma.
I was panicked. All I could think about was the amount of damage the raccoons could cause if they got into our house. The fireplace glass door did not have a latch, so it would have been very easy for the raccoon to push it open. To keep the door closed, my daughter and I sat with our backs to the door so it could not be opened.
We knew we needed help, but whom do you call? Come to find out, there is not a listing for raccoon removal from a fireplace. So, we started the enormous job of finding someone who could help. This happened on a Sunday night, which meant that most businesses were closed. We called the police, but apparently, raccoons in your living room are not a crime, so they won’t come. We called DNR, but they didn’t seem concerned because they felt the momma and her babies would eventually disappear.
We tried calling the local pest control, but their phones went to voicemail. After trying to call ten different companies, I called the police back. In my most panicked voice, I said they needed to bring their guns and shoot raccoons, NOW! I don’t know if it was from the panic in my voice or that I mentioned guns and shooting raccoons in the same sentence. Still, the police department finally took me seriously and called someone for me.
Shortly after my conversation with the police, we got a call from someone that could help. He told us to barricade the door, cover it with a blanket, and leave the room. This would allow the momma to feel safe enough to get the babies out. After securing the fireplace door, we did what any typical family would do in this situation; we went out for Chinese. An excellent plan of action when there is a family of raccoons in your fireplace.
When we came home, we noticed that the fireplace was quiet. Momma was not grunting, and the babies were not crying. So, either it was because:
- momma got the babies out.
- the babies were sleeping, or
- momma was waiting at the glass door for an opportunity to scare us.
The good news was we received a call at 8:00 am the following day, and the raccoons were out of the chimney by 10:00 am.