no, you don't start a fire in the hearth. sheesh!
typically, this wouldn't be something i'd be thinking about, but raccoons have been a bit of a theme in the past few months and years... when my son was living nearby, he had a little fella (ok, a big fella) inhabiting his upper eaves. i'd drop by and if it was twilight or later, i'd see his (the raccoon's ) little eyes peering down at me from a hole in the eave, just over the door frame. in the summer of '08, i was at a lovely retreat at a converted church camp in paris, ontario, and happened to see a family of raccoons, a mother and four babies... such cute little fuzzy bums following the mother as they all ambled off up the hill. i'd go out to the same spot for the four days i was there so i could see them walking away from me.
recently one of my colleagues had a raccoon in her house and she was totally grossed out by it.... she had to leave and stay with friends until her landlord got it out of the house.... she could not even be in the same house! clearly, she does not think they are cute and fuzzy.
and then there was my ASL instructor ( i believe i mentioned in an earlier post that i was learning ASL... still at it.... loving it.... but i digress) who had one living in his fireplace. my instructor is profoundly deaf, so the solution he discovered is not without irony (and really, why else would i be writing this post if not for the irony?), and he found it through google (no less!) so it has at least the qualification of others trying it and being successful. he did not want to start a fire either, so here's what he did: he put a boom box/cd -dvd player next to the fireplace and put on music and turned it up as high as it could go .... apparently he had to leave the screeching loud noise going for a time, until the uninvited guests got tired of all that racket and left, but what the heck, he couldn't hear a thing.
supposedly, the tolerance for noise is the downside of this solution. but only if you can hear it.
there ya go!!