October marks the start of shorter days, cooler weather, and of course Halloween. Everywhere you look people are preparing for that night when little ghosts and witches make their way through town doing tricks and collecting treats.
With all the scary things that come along with Halloween, perhaps the scariest of them all is discovering bats in your chimney. Though they are a wonderful part of our community’s ecosystem, they are not fun when they decide to make your chimney their home.
Why Do Bats Want To Live in Chimneys?
There are many reasons a bat might want to live in your chimney, but rest easy – none of them are vampires. Instead, they are just looking for the perfect place to live. Your chimney is a very attractive place for a bat because of the perks it offers them. Things like…
- Safety and Shelter: Bats are looking for a place that is invisible to predators, away from the wind, and sheltered from rain. A chimney offers them all things. If they find an easy way to get in and out, bats will quickly figure out that your chimney is a fortress in which they can hide.
- Temperature Regulation: Your chimney tends to stay cool in the summer and, because it’s sheltered from the outside, it stays relatively warm in the winter. Bats are warm-blooded mammals, and they don’t like big fluctuations in temperatures. Not only does your chimney provide protection, it provides comfort, as well.
The truth is, bats really just want to be left alone. Their natural roosting locations include trees and caves. If you think about it, your chimney is pretty much a man-made cave as far as a bat is concerned.
Steps for Removing Bats From Your Chimney
Most bat species can gobble up more than 1000 insects per hour. A nursing mother will put away over 4500 insects per night. This makes them incredibly valuable to our environment and to our own comfort. We want bats around, we just don’t want them in our chimney. So how do we get them out?
✔ Know Your Local Laws and Regulations
When you discover a bat colony in your chimney, the first thing you need to do is learn about your local laws. Because they are so valuable to our ecosystem, it is important that the bats aren’t hurt or killed during the process of removal. Nearly every state has instituted laws to protect bat populations. Knowing your local laws about bat removal is a must.
✔ Do Not Disturb
In North Carolina, it is illegal to harm or kill bats. It is also illegal to move them between May 1st and July 31st. During this time, mothers are raising their young and the pups are not leaving the roost. This means that to move them would involve a very high risk of injuring or killing the babies. The yearly addition of healthy pups to the bat colony is crucial to its survival.
✔ Timing is Key
You want to make sure that the removal process happens when the bats are active at night, but before the cold weather of winter has set in. Mid-to-late autumn is generally the best time to remove the bats because the pups are beginning to leave the roost with the rest of the colony and hunt for themselves.
✔ Exclusion, Not Extermination
The goal during bat removal should include more than just getting bats out. Keeping them alive and healthy should be a major priority in the process. Hiring professionals to help is your best plan of action. A professional in bat removal will help you pinpoint entrance and exit locations and install one way exclusions devices that allow the bats to leave – but not return
✔ Seal Entry Points
Once the bats have left it’s time to call us at Owens Chimney Systems. We can help make sure the bats won’t be able to return. Our techs will help permanently seal up the cracks and crevices that were allowing the bats to enter in the first place. Our experienced professionals can help repair weak spots that might allow bats in and they can install chimney components – like a chimney cap – that is designed to let smoke out of the chimney, all while keeping wildlife like raccoons, squirrels, and, of course, bats from getting in.
Chimney Maintenance After Bat Removal
Bats are messy and can cause a lot of damage to a chimney. Once the colony has left the roost there are some things you should do to keep your chimney safely operating and providing you with all the joys a fireplace has to offer.
- Cleanup: Bat droppings can carry disease and unpleasant odors. Cleaning up the guano that the bats left behind is an important thing to do – especially as the colder weather nears and you want to begin using your wood stove or fireplace again. Owens Chimney Systems has a team of professionals skilled and equipped to clean up every part of your chimney. A cleaning by our team will not only get rid of bat droppings, but also creosote buildup, soot, and other burning byproducts that buildup over time.
- Chimney Cap Installation: Your chimney cap is an important part of keeping a chimney healthy, functional, and efficient. It guards against rain and moisture from entering the flu. It also deflects debris and acts as a shield against the animal kingdom. Owens Chimney Systems includes a team of technicians that can find the right type of chimney cap for your home and get it installed properly.
We Can Meet Your Chimney & Fireplace Needs
Don’t let bats be the spookiest thing to happen to you this fall. Call us at Owens Chimney Systems today to get your chimney inspected, cleaned, and repaired so that you can enjoy your fireplace worry free as the weather gets cool. Call or book online today.