The sun has set, the air is chilled
This dark and stormy night
You hear a bump and then a squeal
It’s giving you a fright
It’s not a ghost, it’s not a witch
It’s not undead zombies
It’s not a goblin or a ghoul
It’s bats in your chimney
Tis the season for spooks and scares, cool weather, short days, football, caramel apples, and, unfortunately, bats in the chimney. Even though they are tremendous little goblins to have on bug patrol in your neighborhood, they are horrible house guests – and when they get in your chimney they become pesky terrors that make a mess of your property and carry dangerous disease.
Getting bats that are roosting in your chimney back into the trees and caves where they belong is crucial to everyone’s safety, including the bats themselves.
How Can I Get Bats Out of My Chimney?
- Determine the Species: North Carolina is home to 17 bat species. Of those 17 species, three are federally endangered and one is federally threatened. It can be very difficult to determine the species without the help of an expert. Call up the local DNR for help in determining what sort of bat is camping out in your chimney.
- Know the Law: When it comes to removing bats, timing is everything. In North Carolina it is illegal to remove bats during their mating season, which begins on May 1st and goes through July 31st. Bat populations are vulnerable during these three months. The state protects bats so that the population can be maintained and we can continue to benefit from their presence.
- Evict the Bats: When the pups begin leaving the roost in August, it’s time to evict them forever. The first thing you need to do is make sure that all entrances and exits are spotted. Seal every exit and install a one way exclusion tube. Bats will be able to leave and feed for the night but unable to return to the chimney. They are then forced to find another (more suitable) place to live.
- Inspect & Repair: Once all of the bats have left, it is time to make sure they can’t return. Bats can fit through incredibly small passages and many of their entrances and exits can be nearly invisible to an untrained eye. Our professionals at Mr. Smokestack can help find these weaknesses in your chimney and get them repaired and sealed.
- Prevention: After all the accessible holes and cracks in your chimney have been addressed and sealed, it’s time to prevent bats from entering the flue every again. Make sure you have a properly fitting and functioning chimney cap installed over your flue. This vital chimney component will allow smoke to draft out, prevent downdrafts, protect your chimney from water, and keep debris and animals from getting inside.
Why Do Bats Want To Live In My Chimney?
Bats work hard keeping your neighborhood insect populations under control. In fact, just one little brown bat can catch over 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in an hour, while a nursing mother will devour around 4,500 of them in a night. In reality, we need these flying beasts or we’d be overrun with pesky bugs. That being said, everyone (including bats) likes a safe, dry, protected place to sleep.
Your chimney is a lot like the trees and caves that bats are naturally attracted to. It offers bats a fortress that is out of reach of wind and rain and invisible to predators that would threaten them. It is dark and warm. It’s the perfect place not only to sleep, but to feed and raise young bats, as well.
Are Bats Dangerous to Humans (or Pets)?
Let’s face it, the fact that Dracula turns into a bat at night isn’t a pleasant thought, however the scary reputation isn’t very accurate either. If you don’t live in Transylvania you are probably safe to have a healthy – albeit distant – relationship with bats.
But what happens if exposure does occur? Handling bats can be hazardous as many species have teeth that can pierce skin. Like most animals, if it feels trapped it will bite as it tries to free itself. However, they don’t really want to have anything to do with people. They are interested in getting at those bugs.
There are many reasons not to handle a bat. Even though only 1% of bats carry rabies, a scratch or bite from a bat can pass along the deadly disease. There are other diseases that bats carry, as well. Long story short, handling them is just not worth the risk.
We’re Here for You
Mr. Smokestack offers our community a team of professionals and experts in chimney care. Our knowledge and experience is a handy tool to have in your arsenal as you work to prevent bats from roosting in your chimney.
Call us today or schedule an inspection online. We can help you maintain your chimney and keep the critters away. Halloween might be scary… but we can remove the worry of a bat problem.