As the weather cools off pests will try to warm up inside. The fireplace is often a point of entry, especially at the beginning of the season when it hasn’t been used in a while. This is why it’s so important to have your fireplace/chimney inspected and cleaned early on. Keep reading for more pest control tips on keeping bugs out of your fireplace while you’re using it for winter.
Always Shut the Flue When Not in Use
The flue, or damper, opens a vent in the fireplace so that the combustion gases are carried outside and air is circulated when a fire is going. Opening the flue is a necessity if you want to have a fire, but forgetting to close it afterward can let pests inside. In addition to keeping bugs outside where they belong, the flue will also prevent warm air from escaping and cool air from getting inside your home.
Check Firewood Before Bringing It Inside
One of the most common ways that pests get in homes during the cooler months is by hitching a ride on firewood. Many insects like hiding away in firewood whether it’s indoors or outdoors, which is why it’s important to keep firewood off the ground and carefully inspect every piece before bringing it inside. Visually inspect the wood and also knock it against the ground a few times to dislodge any bugs that have burrowed inside.
Also, only bring in just enough for an immediate fire. If wood is put straight in the fireplace and ignited right away the likelihood of bugs shacking up in your house is slim to none.
Install a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap won’t keep most bugs out, but it will keep pests like rodents, raccoons and birds from moving in. A chimney cap fits over the top of your fireplace opening on the roof and is grated so that smoke can still escape. A nice bonus is that caps add a decorative touch to your exterior while keeping debris out as well. Before installing a cap have a professional clean the chimney and ensure that the flue is fully functional.
Seal Off the Hearth
A fireplace door is an important safety device that keeps embers and sparks from floating out of the fire. They also help keep children and pets away from the fire so they don’t get burned. But when a fire isn’t going the doors can remain closed to keep pests from getting in the house. There are also covers for vents that are open to the inside. Sealing these entry points up is an effective way of keeping bugs from using your fireplace as a way to get inside.
Before firing up the fireplace, hire a professional chimney sweep to check everything out. If you discover you have pests that need to be removed give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. a call. We have experience checking fireplaces for infestations and know what it takes to rid your chimney of bugs, rodents and other pests.