Knowing how to get rid of bats and pests that make their home in your chimney is crucial if you want a clean and safe home. Animals like bats can not only cause damage to your house, but they can also bring diseases and bacteria into your home.
Bats play an important role in our ecosystem. Not only are they important for pest control, but they also help with pollinating plants and dispersing seeds. This is why it’s incredibly important that you take the right steps to safely remove bats from your home.
So, keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do to get rid of bats in your chimney.
How to Know if You Have Bats in Your Chimney
Bats enjoy nestling down in warm tight spaces that don’t allow much light through, making chimneys of residential fireplaces the perfect resting place for these flying mammals. The signs of bats you need to look out for include the following:
- Animal noises
- Oily tracks
- Urine marks
Bats are mostly quiet creatures since they use a high frequency to communicate. While under normal circumstances, most humans aren’t able to hear them communicate, if there are multiple bats in a small space, it becomes easier.
If you do hear them, bats are commonly mistaken for birds, but if you pay close attention, you’ll be able to hear the difference. Bats make high-pitched cheeps or squeak sounds, and you’ll also be able to hear scratching noises while they are awake. Bats also flap their wings faster than birds, so it produces a slight whirring sound.
Bat guano is the clearest sign you’ll get that you have bats nesting in your chimney. Bat droppings look very similar to mouse droppings but are usually larger. If you find small, dark brown droppings that are slightly oval around your chimney, specifically below the ridge, then definitely have bats.
While bat droppings aren’t always easy to see or find in chimneys, the ammonia smell will be a big sign that you need to investigate. Bat urine will also leave a foul ammonia smell that might remind you of cat litter that is soaked in urine.
Bats are incredibly greasy, and as they squeeze into small spaces, the oil from their body comes off. As they repeatedly enter and leave your chimney, you’ll start to notice dark brown or charcoal residue on your chimney.
First You Need to find the Entry and Exit Point
Bats can fit into incredibly small spaces. They only need an opening around 3/8 of an inch wide to enter your home. Some places to start looking for an opening include the following:
- Around the roof or siding
- Around vents
- Where pipes enter or exit your home
- Cracks or holes around your home
- Where the roof and walls meet
Safely Remove the Bats
Once you’ve found the entry point, you need to safely and humanely remove the bats. You don’t want to accidentally hurt them just to get them out of your home.
There is really only one way to get the bats out of your house. You’ll need to use exclusion devices that allow the bats to leave your home, but they can’t get back in.
Under no circumstances should you light a fire to chase the bats out. Some of the bats will leave, but as the smoke gets thicker, they’ll get stuck and either burn alive or suffocate from the smoke.
You also don’t want to use repellents as they rarely work; you’ll just waste your money and time. Getting rid of bats can be easy if done right.
Seal off the Entry Points
Once the bats are removed, you’ll need to seal off the entry point to ensure they don’t just come back. Sealants like expanding foam, hardware cloth, etc., will all work to keep the bats out. Unlike other pets that invade the home, bats don’t chew on the material to get in, so it’s pretty easy to keep them out.
Once you’ve sealed off all possible entry points, you can rest assured that they will stay outside.
Cleaning It All Up
Now that everything is done, you can start cleaning up the mess left by the bats. If there are any dead bats, their remains will attract various pests like maggots, rats, mice, and flies. The remains can also carry diseases, so you want to safely get rid of them as soon as possible.
If the biological matter isn’t cleaned up quickly, other bats and pests will be attracted to the area, so if you didn’t seal off any possible entry point, you’d be back to square one. Biological matter can also pose fireplace safety risks.
The bat droppings and urine will also make your entire home smell like ammonia. Not only is it a foul smell, but it can also affect the health of everyone living in the home. So cleaning and removing all traces of the bats is an important step in getting rid of them.
After that, you simply need to clean your fireplace as recommended.
Know How to Get Rid of Bats
The second you realize that something is living in your chimney, you need to start figuring out how to get rid of them. Knowing how to get rid of bats will not only help keep your home safe, but it will help keep the bats alive. Bats play an important role in our ecosystem, so you don’t want to harm them unless you have no other option.
If you have any questions surrounding your chimney and fireplace, feel free to contact us today. Dreifuss Fireplaces has been serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware since 1876.