Got bats in your chimney flue? If so, there are a few imperative things you need to know!

As made famous in popular culture by the comic book character Batman, real, living, breathing bats are nocturnal mammals who reside in dark, cave-like areas. But since their population reigns worldwide, there aren’t enough caves for each bat colony. Therefore, they have to seek other living accommodations. 

With the abundance of chimneys in an average neighborhood, it’s no surprise that bats in the chimney are a common issue among homeowners.

If you’re one of these homeowners, pay attention! This blog post will concisely detail everything you need to know about bat identification, removal, and prevention.

What Do Bats in Chimneys Sound Like?

If they’re in your chimney, you’ll hear high-pitched squeaking, cheeping, and rapid wing movement. It’s best to listen for these sounds around your fireplace flue at the times of dusk and dawn. 

They make noises around these specific times because that’s when they’re preparing to travel outside. Bats are also nocturnal animals, so they sleep throughout the day without typically making any noise. 

Homeowners often misidentify noises in their flue as being a bird issue. But compared to bats in chimney sounds, birds make louder chirping-like noises that you can hear throughout the daytime.

These bats made themselves right at home in this damaged chimney. If you listen closely, you can hear their high-pitched noises!

How to Get Rid of Bats in Your Chimney

The best way to get rid of bats in the chimney is to hire a professional wildlife control or removal company.

After positively identifying a bat infestation, many people suggest the question, can you smoke bats out of your chimney? The answer to that is a definitive no. You should never attempt to light a fire in an attempt to smoke out bats in your chimney.

The fire or smoke will potentially burn the creatures alive. This method is utterly inhumane and will require you to remove their dead carcasses from the unit.

Bat hanging upside down in chimney

Chimneys are an optimal place for bats to hang upside-down freely.

It’s also never a good idea to purchase repellents, traps, or removal products. These options are not only ineffective, but they’re also a potential legal issue. In many states, it’s illegal to kill bats, and there are specific laws regarding the removal of them.

How Do You Tell if Bats Are in Your Chimney?

Here are some identifiers and signs that signify bats in the fireplace system:

  • High-pitched noises coming from inside the flue.
  • Droppings (known as bat guano) found around the inside and outside of the unit.
  • A strong, unusual ammonia-like smell similar to a dirty litter box. 
  • A swarm flying near your unit around dusk or dawn.

Another way to identify them is to hire a professional fireplace inspector. They will run a high-definition camera up the flue that connects to a real-time monitor. If there are any creatures of the night inside, the camera will unboundedly pick it up!

Skeleton of a bat in chimney cap

This poor bat got its wings stuck in the cap. It likely died quickly due to excessive exposure to carbon monoxide.

What to Do If You Have Bats in Your Chimney?

If you are suspicious about these creatures in your system, you need to take the step to resolve the issue immediately.

The most effective way to remove bats in the chimney is to hire a professional to perform the “live exclusion” method. In short, this method includes using specific devices that guide the flying mammals to a one-way door that allows them to exit the structure freely.

After the bat exclusion, you should hire a certified company to inspect and identify the chimney’s entry points. They will then suggest repairs, such as a cap installation or chimney rebuild, that ensure no animal in your chimney again.

Cost of Removing Bats From Chimney

With hiring a professional being the obvious choice for animal removal, the question remains: how much does it cost to remove bats from the chimney?

According to Home Advisor, the average cost of bat removal typically ranges from $231-$647. Of course, the price could vary depending on the specific company, size of the colony, and size of your home.

The repairs to seal the unit will obviously cost significantly more than that. To learn more about chimney repair costs, visit our service page or contact your local chimney sweep for a more precise estimate!

Bats are attracted to open chimneys

Chimneys with a damaged or missing cap allow easy access for bats! 

Summary

Bats are nocturnal mammals who reside in dark, tall, and protected areas similar to a cave. Of course, since they check every box on that list, chimneys are a frequent bat destination.

If you think a colony is living in your unit, don’t panic and attempt to smoke them out or purchase traps. You first need to follow the signs we listed to identify them positively. Then you should strongly consider hiring a professional company to remove them safely and humanely.

Do you want to keep bats and other animals out of your system for good? Give us a call today to learn more about our inspection and repair services!

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