Help some critter got into our woodstove

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vatmark

Burning Hunk
Jan 5, 2017
129
Nebo NC
We have a wood stove. It's brand new in a new house. Some how a critter got in it. I hear it trying to claw it's way out. It sounded like it was first in the pipe and now is in the stove box. My husband is not home and yes I am freaking out. It sounds like maybe it is a squirrel but cant be positive. I just hear claws. I assume it got into the stove pipe or in through the fresh air intake. Now to figure out what to do about it. I'm assuming we call a professional.
 

vatmark

Burning Hunk
Jan 5, 2017
129
Nebo NC
Hmmm. Keep the door closed till your husband gets home.

My husband just got home. He's not opening the door either. We are going to see if we can get someone out here who knows what they are doing. I don't look forward to the mess that will be in the woodstove.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,022
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Whatever animal that got in there had been creeping around in your house just beforehand. His brothers are watching from the shadows. Get a flat head shovel ready and open the door. Probably a little mouse.

Reading back, this stove is installed. It’s just a bird. Let him out.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,658
Philadelphia
I’ve dealt with this before. Don’t open the door, you can’t even imagine how much damage a soot-soaked squirrel can do in your house.

Feed a rope down the chimney into the stove. Put a weight on the end of the rope, if it helps. Then wrap the stove in a blanket, so it stays dark and quiet inside. Tomorrow, when the squirrel sees light coming down the chimney, he’ll find his way up the rope and out, without any harm to squirrel or your living room.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,658
Philadelphia
... oh, and if you think he got in thru the outside air intake, he may get back out that way. But wrapping the stove in a blanket is key. He needs to go towards the light, and that means making his environment dark.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,022
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I can’t tell if you’re joking @Ashful. Can little lemiwinks climb a rope?

Has op shined a flashlight in to see this creature? Identify as bird or hamster?
 

ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
778
Howell, Mi
probably a bird, i have had them get in my stove via the chimney before
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,658
Philadelphia
I can’t tell if you’re joking @Ashful. Can little lemiwinks climb a rope?
Not kidding! Go back to early 2012, and you'll see a story of the squirrel I had in one of my Jotul Firelight 12's. Damn thing destroyed the inside of that stove, more than $450 in damage, which turned in to $650 with the "might as well do this while I'm in there" stuff. That same repair would cost over $850 today, given Jotul's updated pricing on those items.

In my case, I was able to confirm it was a squirrel, and not a bird. Once I knew what I was dealing with, I called my chimney guy, and he gave me the rope idea. When that didn't work the first day, someone here clued me in on the blanket, and the squirrel was out at first light the next day.

I was having bad dreams about having to open those doors, letting a soot-covered squirrel out to go running around the house. Thankfully, it never came to that.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,239
Marshall NC
Open the door and let the poor critter out of there! What a nightmare for the little guy. Open the front door he will find the way out of the house I bet.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,906
Central Mass
Open the door and let the poor critter out of there! What a nightmare for the little guy. Open the front door he will find the way out of the house I bet.
He'll find a nice warm spot in the house to sleep and when he gets hungry he'll do some food shopping in the pantry. As crazy as ashfuls recommendation sounded at first read,it makes the most sense.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,658
Philadelphia
Open the door and let the poor critter out of there! What a nightmare for the little guy. Open the front door he will find the way out of the house I bet.

He’s a wild animal. A day or two without food isn’t going to kill him, but it might remind him to stay out of chimneys, in the future.
 

Destructor

Burning Hunk
May 7, 2016
159
Mass
I had bats in my chimney for two years. They were living in the furnace flue between the steel liner and the original clay liner. Sometimes one would go down the steel liner and come out of the furnace damper in the basement. I would keep the basement door open and let them come upstairs where they would fly out of the open front door. They finally left on their own sometime last year. If it’s a bird just let it out. We’ve had them a few times at my father’s house. They weren’t soot covered, they flew around the room a bit until they found the open door. I never had a squirrel inside.
 

cahaak

Burning Hunk
Feb 12, 2012
84
MN Twin Cities
How the heck can something get in. Outside air intake has a screen over it as does the flue cap. Unless animals can chew through metal there is no way any should be able to get in.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,483
South Puget Sound, WA
Usually they enter by the chimney cap.
 

pittpizza

New Member
Feb 2, 2018
36
Pittsburgh
I hate to admit it but I took out at least 9 (maybe 11, I forget) chipmunks in my attic last year with rat traps. I felt bad but they were in my attic! I got 1/4" "chicken wire" or garden fencing and cut it to length and sealed up a spot where they were getting in under my facia. Before I installed that I got Great Stuff made for pest control and sprayed that insulation up there.

In any case I agree with Ashful as it seems like a clean, cheap, and easy way to get it out. If that doesn't work maybe you can get a tarp or blanket and affix it to your stove then slowly open the door so it jumps out and then you can kind of use it like a sack and take the whole damn mess outside.

My guess is this latter method will turn into a scene reminiscent of the bat scene from Tommy Boy. Good luck and keep us posted please.
 
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KodiakII

Minister of Fire
Jan 17, 2011
527
Eastern Ontario
Probably a Starling (bird), covered in soot...DO NOT LET IT OUT! You wouldn't believe the mess that it will make!
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,906
Central Mass
I hate to admit it but I took out at least 9 (maybe 11, I forget) chipmunks in my attic last year with rat traps. I felt bad but they were in my attic! I got 1/4" "chicken wire" or garden fencing and cut it to length and sealed up a spot where they were getting in under my facia. Before I installed that I got Great Stuff made for pest control and sprayed that insulation up there.

In any case I agree with Ashful as it seems like a clean, cheap, and easy way to get it out. If that doesn't work maybe you can get a tarp or blanket and affix it to your stove then slowly open the door so it jumps out and then you can kind of use it like a sack and take the whole damn mess outside.

My guess is this latter method will turn into a scene reminiscent of the bat scene from Tommy Boy. Good luck and keep us posted please.
I was picturing the squirrel scene from Christmas vacation