Do you have bats in your chimney? You might not know it, since they’re very small and can be hard to see. If you’ve been hearing strange noises coming from your chimney, or if you’ve seen droppings on the roof base or around the opening, there’s a good chance that you do have bats.
Chimneys provide a serene, warm, and cozy atmosphere where bats feel protected. However, having bats in your fireplace is a fire hazard and can lead to multiple health problems.
And while handling bats yourself might be a challenge, this guide will uncover enough details to tell whether you have bats in your chimney. We’ll also cover how you can get rid of bats and prevent them from returning or entering your chimney flue in the first place.
How to Tell if You Have Bats in Your Chimney?
If you suspect but aren’t sure bats are roosting in your chimney, here is a list of signs:
1. Bats Flying Around the Chimney
If you see bats circling your chimney or flying in and out of it, that’s a good sign you have them. Bats will fly out to hunt at night and return to the warmth of their roosting spot during the day.
2. Check for Guano (Bat Droppings)
Guano looks dark and crumbly and has a strong, musty odor. You can usually find it near the entrance to the chimney or the roof. It is a key sign of bats living in your chimney.
3. Increased Number of Insects in Your Home
Since bats eat lots of insects, you may see an increase in the number of bugs around your home if bats live in your chimney.
4. Scratching or Rustling Noises from Your Chimney
If you hear scratching or rustling noises from your chimney, that’s a good indication that you have bats. Bats make these noises as they move around in their roosting spot.
5. Animal Odor near the Chimney
Bats have a distinctive musky odor that you can detect from your chimney or fireplace. Therefore, there’s a chance you have bats roosting in your chimney if you smell animal odor near your chimney.
If you have any of these signs, you likely have bats in your chimney. But don’t worry – there are ways to get them out.
Chimney Swift vs. Bat
Bats and chimney swifts are both different types of animals that you can find in homes. Bats are mammals that fly and eat insects.
Chimney swifts are birds that live in chimneys and eat flying insects, among other things.
There are a few ways to tell the difference between bats and chimney swifts. Some of these differences include:
Size is probably the most obvious way to tell the difference between bats and chimney swifts. Bats are usually larger than chimney swifts.
Shape of Wings
Bats have long and stretched-out wings, while chimney swifts’ wings are more rounded.
Third, chimney swifts can fly higher than bats because they have more air space in their wings.
How they Sound
There’s a clear difference between the sound bats and chimney swifts make. Bats make a high-pitched squeaking noise, while chimney swifts make a loud chirping noise.
Bats are usually most active at night, while chimney swifts are more active during the day.
Bats often fly in a zigzag pattern, while chimney swifts usually fly in a straight line. Additionally, bats need to flap their wings severally to stay afloat, while chimney swifts can glide for long periods.
What Are the Dangers of Having Bats in Your Chimney?
If you have bats in your chimney, you need to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible. While bats can be beneficial animals, having them living in your home is dangerous and can lead to various problems.
Some of these problems are:
- Extensive Damage to Your Chimney – Bats can cause extensive damage to your chimney and flue. They can build nests in the chimney, clog the vent and increase the risk of a fire or costly repairs.
- Soot and Odor – Bat droppings can create sooty deposits and an unpleasant odor in your home. This will be unbearable, and it can also be a health hazard.
- Health Risks – Bat urine can also contain harmful bacteria and viruses that cause health problems, such as histoplasmosis and rabies. This is because inhaling a high concentration of ammonia (from a bat’s urine) can cause severe burns to your throat, nose, and respiratory tract.
- Chew Electrical Wires and Insulation – Bats are known to chew on electrical wires and insulation, creating a fire hazard.
What to Do if You Have Bats in Your Chimney?
The best way to remove bats from your home is to contact wildlife expert services. As you may know, the federal government protects certain bat species under the Endangered Species Act.
Therefore, an expert can ensure bats are out of your property safely and securely without causing conflict with the law. But if you’re up for the challenge, the following tips can also ensure you remove bats from your chimney in the safest way possible.
1. Seal Cracks and Fill up Holes
Bats can easily fit in ¼ by ½ inch openings, so it’s essential to seal any spaces in your home.
Some common entry points for bats in your house are:
- through your attic,
- the fascia board (the long wooden board behind your house’s gutters),
- your chimney, and
- an open soffit (an architectural feature that is found in ceilings and walls)
To get rid of bats from your house, you’ll need to seal all the mentioned cracks and fill any holes your house may have. This will make it difficult for them to get in and encourage them to find another place to live.
2. Use a Bat House
Once you’ve discouraged bats from entering your home, they’ll need an alternative place to shelter. Setting a bat house is a humane way to ensure bats don’t disturb you, but they also have a place to live.
Additionally, using a bat house can also ensure bats don’t roost in your chimney in the first place.
3. Use a Chimney Cap
Most homeowners ignore the benefits of installing a chimney cap on their flues. First of all, chimney caps can control sparks from your fireplace and prevent fires.
And in this case, installing a chimney cap over your chimney ensures you don’t have an opening for bats to access your chimney.
4. Use Natural Bat Repellents
Natural bat repellents are also effective solutions for removing bats from your chimney. Because they are bat-friendly, these repellents will ensure you don’t harm bats when chasing them away.
There are different bat repellents that you can use to get bats out of your chimney. One type is a sonic repeller, which emits a high-pitched sound that scares bats away.
Another type is a gel repeller, made from natural ingredients and smells that irritate bats. Again, such repellents can ensure you get rid of bats without harming them.
5. Use Bright and Scare Tactics
You can also use bright lights to get the bats out of your chimney. Bats are nocturnal animals (they sleep during the day and are active at night), so they will be scared of bright light.
If you have a small population of bats living in your home, you may be able to scare them away using additional scare tactics. Try making loud noises or using ultrasonic devices to scare them from your chimney.
6. Call a Wildlife Control Expert
Our number one recommendation is to call a wildlife control expert to assist you with bat removal. You don’t want to get in trouble with the federal law as it protects certain bat species.
It’s also not advisable to light a fire or smoke a bat out of your chimney. With the help of a wildlife expert, you can save yourself all the trouble, and the bats will fly out the right way.
7. Use Bat Exclusion Devices in Your Chimney
Lastly, if you’ve tried all of the above and are still struggling with bats in your home, you may need to use bat exclusion techniques.
This includes using a net or mesh that covers the opening of your chimney and prevents bats from getting in. It’s important to note that using a bat exclusion device will require professional installation.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Bat Removed From a Chimney?
The average cost to get rid of bats from a chimney is about $400 – $600. This cost depends on several factors, including:
- The size and height of your chimney
- The number and species of bats you need to be removed
Overall, the following table can give you a clear overview of how much it takes to remove bats from your chimney based on several factors.
Cost of Bat Removal by Location
|Location||Cost of Removal|
|Porch, Soffit, and Trees||This can cost from $50 – $80|
|Walls, Attic, Basement, Chimney, and Barn||Average cost is $400 – $600|
Cost of Bat Removal by Project
|Project Range||Cost of Removal|
|Low-cost bat removal services||$275|
|Average removal services||$500|
|High-end removal services||$8,500|
Cost of Bat Removal by Colony Size
|Bat Colony Size||Cost of Removal|
|Single Bat||This can range from $90 – $275|
|Small Colony||Costs from $150 – $300|
|Medium Colony||From $405 – $600|
|Large Colony||This can cost from $1,000 – $8,000 or higher|
Why You Should Consider Professional Bat Removal?
Yes. Professional bat removal is the best way to handle bats in your home. Bats can be a major nuisance and health hazard when they invade your home. If you are dealing with bats, it is best to call a professional bat removal service.
These services have the experience and equipment necessary to safely remove bats from your home.
There are several reasons why you should consider professional bat removal.
1. The Federal Law Protects Bats
First, it is important to remember that federal law protects certain bat species. You cannot just go out and capture them or kill them. In addition, bats can be tricky to catch. If you do not know what you are doing, you may get hurt.
2. Bats Can be Dangerous to Handle
Another thing to remember is that bats can be dangerous. They may carry rabies or other diseases, so it is important to take precautions if you will be handling them.
If you are not comfortable removing bats yourself, it is best to leave it to the professionals. This means you should carefully weigh the pros and cons.
By following the tips above, you can identify whether or not you have bats in your chimney and take the necessary steps to remove them.
Remember, it is important to take precautions if you will be handling bats, as they may carry rabies or other diseases. If you are not comfortable removing bats yourself, it is best to leave it to the professionals.