Image of a Bat

Bats Near the Home

Bats live in both cities and wooded areas, eating half of their weight in insects every night. When looking for places to roost, they choose protected spots like sheds, attics, and smokestacks. At times, bats in chimneys cause problems due to their breeding habits and potential for disease.

Why Do Bats Roost in Chimneys?

These pests enter chimneys to hibernate and reproduce. Homeowners with a maternity colony of bats in the chimney may have a long-lasting problem on their hands. The animals have strong homing instincts and usually return to the same roosts. A bat can live for over six years, and females produce a pup every season.

Issues with Bats in Chimneys

When bats roost in chimneys, their droppings and urine build up on bricks and shingles. This leads to a musty odor and contaminated runoff during rainstorms. Bats in chimneys also create dark, oily stains similar to those left by rodents.

Any time bats live near humans, there is a definite risk of contracting rabies from a bite. Even a dead bat can spread the disease. In addition, airborne spores that develop within the pests' droppings may transmit histoplasmosis to humans.

Prevention

To deter bats from roosting in the chimney, a variety of methods can be helpful:

  • Exclusion tubes - This device is a one-way exit, allowing bats in the chimney to leave but not to return.
  • Mesh screens - Placing wire mesh over a chimney keeps bats out, though it is important to avoid trapping any animals inside.
  • Chimney caps - Similar to a mesh screen, a cap stops pest wildlife from entering.
  • Bat boxes - Installing this alternative home encourages bats in chimneys to move out on their own.

Setting up some of these devices requires special knowledge and equipment. Accessing the chimney also means getting onto the roof, which can be dangerous for homeowners. For safe and effective wildlife management, call Critter Control when bats cause problems.

Learn more about bat removal.