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Bat in the Chimney - What to Do

How to remove bats from a chimney - this is a common situation. A chimney, like a cave, can be an idea bat roosting habitat. Here are the steps to take:

  • 1 - Determine if it is maternity season (the summer months, basically), and if so, do not take any action. There are many flightless baby bats inside the chimney, and they can't be removed.
  • 2 - If it is autumn or spring, you can remove them. DO NOT START A FIRE. This will result in live bats coming into the house. Instead, leave the damper shut. Install one-way exclusion netting on the opening on the flu.
  • 3 - Observe the bats at dusk and dawn, to ensure that they are able to get out, but not back in. If they can't get out, reposition the exclusion netting. If it's working properly, wait at least 3 days to ensure they all get out.
  • 4 - Once they are all out, install a chimney cap that doesn't have any small gaps that would allow bats back inside.

Have you got bats in your chimney? Chances are that those things you see on the TV aren’t going to work. It doesn’t matter how many silver crosses or cloves of garlic you get out, you aren’t going to get rid of the little critters! They are gentle creatures, not like the ones that you often see on the television, and they are just trying to find someplace that they can call home – probably much in the same way that you are.

Chances are, whenever you find bats in your home, they are going to be somewhere high, usually in the chimney or attic areas, and this can make it very hard to get rid of them. Unless you have a ladder, or are willing to crawl around the upper most layers of your home, almost in a Spiderman style, getting rid of them is going to be no easy task. If you are willing to put in the effort however, then you can go without employing the help of the local wildlife removal guys, but you should still remember that getting rid of these animals isn’t going to be as simple as 1, 2, and 3!

Ideally, you are going to want to find the holes that the bats are using to gain access to your chimney. You will usually find that there are more than one or two entrances, and it can again be hard work because they won’t all use the same hole, and they certainly won’t all fly in and out at the same time. Turning on the fire and letting the smoke push them out isn’t a method that will go down well – you are likely to kill a number of them with the fumes, and then you are going to have a colony of dead bats to contend with. This means removing the bodies and the stench, and again, this is no easy task. You should start by trying to block up the smaller holes that you find. This will actively encourage them all to start using the same entrance/exit, and this in turn will make your life a much easier one.

When it comes to blocking up the holes, you are probably going to want to turn to something like expanding foam, but this can entrap the bats and cause you more problems in the long run, so ideally you should look for some kind of water-based caulking. The process is generally considered to be exclusion – you are going to block up the holes, one by one, until there is only one hole, and when you are sure that all the remaining bats are out of your chimney, you block up the last hole so they can’t come back. This doesn’t end the problem however – you are going to need to make sure that the bats find a new home, otherwise they are just going to find another entrance to your home and perhaps this one might not be so simple to remove them from.

Of course, hiring a professional is always the easiest option, as long as you use one that is fully trained to deal with the removal of such creatures. When you think about it, climbing ladders and chimney’s isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and the last thing you are going to want is to end on some comedy video show. You know the ones – where you laugh at the misfortune of others. There are a lot of things that you are going to need to take into account if you are not hiring a professional to do the job for you. You are going to need gloves to protect yourself from disease, and also possible injury. You don’t know how the bats will react to you evicting them, and they could turn nasty, just as you would if someone were to try and push you out of your home. The chances of you picking up a disease like rabies is slim, but it can still happen, and you are going to want to protect yourself.

With regards to the new home, most people find good luck with a bat house that has been cleverly placed in the yard. Of course, this means that the bats are still living within the lines of your property, but at the same time, it is a great compromise if you want to remove them from your home.

How to get bats out of the chimney - There are a few things that you are going to notice when you have a bat problem. Firstly, you are likely to hear them flapping and thumping around in your chimney when you are trying to sleep. This is one of the biggest indications that you have some sort of pest problem, and from this point onwards, you really should look at taking some action! That is, of course, unless you can sleep knowing that there are creatures making your attic your home. After all, you never really know what is up there until you investigate further!

One of the first things that you are going to need to do is pick up the phone and call one of your local wildlife and pest control companies. This may seem like an expensive option, but in all fairness, you don’t really know what you are dealing with and some of the animals that could be making your home theirs are not going to be budged without a fight!

If you decide that a company is not the right option for you, you are going to need to educate yourself, especially with bats as they can be incredibly difficult to shoo away, and it will take a couple of season before you get a hold of the situation completely.

To be sure that you have a bat problem in your chimney, and not one created by a different animal, you need to go upstairs and take a peek. The poop left behind by bats will usually crumble apart when touched, unlike other droppings left by other critters, and you will often notice bits of undigested bugs left in the droppings themselves. On top of this, you will sometimes notice a brown stain around holes in the foundations of your home. This is usually more so the case if your house has been painted white, or a similar pale color, and is caused by the brown fur of the bat staining the walls as they fly in and out. This would usually suggest a rather large problem or at least one that has been ongoing for some time.

The hole at the top of a chimney is big, but it's possible that they are getting in around gaps somewhere on the chimney stack outside, in which case bats can fly/crawl into are ridiculously small and some species can even make their way through a hole that is not even an inch squared. This is why it is preferably to employ the help of wildlife professionals that will be trained to spot such tiny holes. Alternatively, you can have a go at it yourself, and you will need to systematically work to fill the holes, leaving one free, which will essentially be the one that the bats leave out of. During the night time, when the bats are out feeding and flying around as they do, you should fill up the last hole to prevent them from making an entrance once more. The thing you need to remember with this is that if you have not blocked all of the holes, you are still likely to have a problem.

Go back to the main Bat Removal page for more information about what to do if you have bats in your chimney. Do you hear scratching sounds in the chimney or fireplace? Is there a dead bat stuck in the chimney cavity creating a smell or odor? Or maybe a nest of baby bats in the chimney. Can they cause damage, and how do you get bat out of the chimney?
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