At Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver, we’re often asked what to do about bats in your chimney. Colonies of bats like to live in caves because they provide shelter and are a great place for bats to hang upside down. For these very reasons, bats will seek out similar areas of your home such as your chimney. Colonies of bats can also be found in fireplaces, walls, attics, garage rafters, barn lofts and more. These places keep them safe from predators and allow them spaces to hang upside down.
A Little about Bats
Bats enjoy rainforests and tropical climates but are found on every continent of the world, except Antarctica. Contrary to popular belief, most bats do not subsist off of blood and those found in the United States typically eat insects like mosquitoes and moths. Bats are excellent at pest control. Plus, many people don’t know that many bats are actually pollinate fruits and plants which means they are helpful to our environment in some very positive ways.
Bats favorite places to live provide them with safe shelter and a place to hang. Bats particularly like to wriggle into tight-fitting spaces where they can hang as a group and raise their young while being protected from predators and the elements. They also prefer spaces located higher up off the ground. This makes chimneys particularly appealing options for bats though they are frequently found in other areas of homes as well.
Signs of Bats
If you notice a bat entering or exiting a chimney or other location around your house, you likely have a bat issue. If you haven’t seen them, but suspect they are there, you and maybe some friends or neighbors can keep an eye out around dawn or dusk. Generally, bats will enter and exit in a bit if a swarm, so you should be able to spot them with relative ease. They leave and enter around dusk and dawn in search of food and water.
If you spot just one, it’s possible that it crawled in through a wall gap or crack. However, it’s more likely that you have several, if not several bats in your chimney. Bats live in colonies and so it is unusual to find an isolated bat inside, particularly if you have located one inside your home.
Additional signs of bats include rustling and squeaking around dusk or dawn. These are the easiest times to hear them because they make noise when preparing to leave the colony. During the day, bats spend their time quietly sleeping, so monitoring for activity and noise around dawn or dusk is a must. Bats can actually be surprisingly quiet residents most of the time so you may need to pay careful attention to hear them.
You may also notice an unusual odor which may be bat guano. A colony in a new location can have 40 bats and sometimes more, so you should hear, see, or smell something. If you suspect you have a bat problem, contact us here at Chimney Sweeps of America, we can help.
Check for Guano
Examine your chimney for urine and guano. Urine stains will be visible on lighter colored chimneys in particular. If you see guano stuck to the sides or if you see piles of guano, you have bats in your chimney because piles around entry and exit points are inevitable. Guano will usually look like a pile of large mouse droppings. Generally, there will be quite a bit of guano with about 40 bats or more. Additionally, bats have oil on their skin that may leave a brownish oily stain as they brush against the point of entry or exit. Finding such a stain is also an indication that bats have taken up residence.
If you know you have bats in your chimney or other location, you may want to determine their entry and exit for the best possible results, if you have not been able to locate it. There may only be one or there may be a couple. Bats can squeeze through an opening that is only 3/8 of an inch. Your search will need to very careful to ensure success.
Removal of the bats will require professional assistance because it is illegal to trap, kill, or fumigate them. A professional can ensure that the bats leave by legal methods, allowing the entry point or points to be sealed up to ensure that the bats will be forced to find an alternative location.
Using professional services will help ensure adherence to laws and it will help you get rid of them as quickly as possible. In some cases, it may not be as quick as you want because of laws regulating ways in which bats can be removed. Using a professional ensures that the removal will be performed appropriately, legally, and effectively.
Taking care of your bat situation with a bat removal professional can keep your population from growing in your home. No one wants a large bat colony in their home, but it important to have the bats taken care of appropriately.Keep in mind that in warmer weather, you may have to wait to remove your bat population because there are baby bats that are not able to fly and it is illegal to forcibly remove them. You may have to wait for them to grow old enough to fly to be able to get rid of them correctly.
Bat Removal Products
Removing a bat using various commercial products is generally ineffective against bats in your chimney. They are typically not affected by lights or sound devices like others animals may be. Given that commercial products are ineffectual and that are laws directing proper removal, using a professional service may be your best option for solid results.
Now that you know what to do about bats in your chimney, contact us here at Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver. We can help with any humane animal removal needs you might have, from bats to raccoons, birds and squirrels.