How to Remove Bats From the Chimney

Inspecting Your Chimney for Bats

If you've been hearing noises in your chimney, and/or finding droppings in and around your mantel and hearth, you'll need to have your chimney inspected for bats or other wildlife like rats, raccoons, and other rodents. You can hire a trained wildlife removal service to inspect the chimney, remove the nuisance animals in your chimney, and make any necessary repairs for you, or you can do it yourself. In this article I'm going to give you some tips on how to handle bats in the chimney of your home, and how to do it safely.

bat in chimney
bat in the chimney

What You'll Need to Inspect Your Chimney

  • Ladder (large enough to access your roof)
  • Strong flashlight
  • Gloves

Performing the Inspection

Use your flashlight to inspect the hearth and mantle of your chimney first. Check for droppings, fur, or other materials that wouldn't belong in a chimney. If you haven't used your chimney in a long time, you'll likely find some nesting material near the bottom. If you see signs of any of these things, take caution, as there may be animals inside the chimney while you are inspecting it.

Switch on your flashlight and aim the beam along the inside walls of the chimney and slowly move up, paying close attention to see if there are any holes or damage to the interior of the chimney. People often miss access points for bats to enter their chimney and end up doing multiple bat removals or bat exclusions. This is also less likely to startle bats if they are inside the chimney.

If you are able to safely perform a roof inspection, do so. Check the opening of the chimney from the outside for damage, as well as any part of the chimney that meets the roof or side of your home. Do this on the ground level as well, once you've finished your roof chimney inspection.

bat stucco damage
bat damage to stucco

You Found Bats in your Chimney–Now What?

My best advice is to speak to a wildlife removal specialist on the best course of action for handling this nuisance wildlife. Bats are protected serveral months of the year, based on the species they are, by the Endangered Species Act. Bats are also highly excitable creatures, and leave behind a mess that must be properly disposed of. These are my methods for excluding, removing, sanitizing, and making repairs when bats have made a colony in your chimney.

Bat Removal and Exclusion From Chimneys

Bats are surprisingly small as adults, and even smaller as babies and young adults. They can make their home just about anywhere with a very low light index and something to grab their claws into. If you have damaged brick, stucco, or plastic siding around your chimney, bats can get in between there and the interior of home and chimney and start a colony. They don't even need to be inside the chimney floo itself for you to have bats in your chimney! We have several methods of bat removal for damaged chimneys and for chimneys in good repair.

bat funnels
bat funnels

Removing Bats from a Damaged Chimney

Chimneys that are separating the from home, cracked, or otherwise compromised will have lots of places for you to perform exclusion work. You can use bat funnels or bat doors on surfaces perpendicular to the ground, with much success. Seal up smaller cracks with silicone, and place netting over damaged stucco or siding for the time being.

If the vent at the top is damaged, you'll want to remove it and place poly netting across the majority of it. Then with a smaller section of poly netting, create a flap over the uncovered portion, sealed on 3 sides. This allows one side for the bats to escape as they fly up and out of the chimney, but when they try to fly back in, they push the "door" closed.

Finally, use bat funnels or bat doors on the exterior of the chimney, and repair any damage to the roof aroudn the chimney. Once the bats are fully excluded, you can repair your damaged chimney, making sure to leave your exclusion devices in place until you repair the damage completely.

Removing Bats From an Undamaged Chimney

If your new bat friends are making their home in your chimney through the vent at the top of your chimney, go ahead and remove it, placing a one-way bat door at the top of the chimney. There are many ways to do this, and some involve PVC, steel mesh, poly netting, or wood. Once the removal and exclusion is complete, purchase a new vent that has steel mesh p[rotecting its openings, or fashion something yourself to keep critters from entering through the vent.

A Note About Bat Poison, Bat Repellent, and Bat Extermination

These products are either ineffective or illegal. Read our articles about these products to make sure that you are not being fooled or wasting valuable time and monetary resources.

Further Reading