Tonight’s the big night as all of those little ghosts and goblins will take to the streets in search of Halloween treats. Unfortunately they’re not the only things that will be out tonight. If you here a high pitch squeal coming from your chimney, you might have some bats that are looking for a new home.

What should you do? If you have bats in your chimney, then you should be aware that you must do it in a humane manner and abide by the law. Like all animals, bats seek shelter in the warmth during the cold winter months. They do a lot of good because they feed on insects and smaller animals. Many bats can be found on the list of animals that are protected by the US Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to kill bats, and it is also illegal to perform a bat removal during the months that their babies could be present and can’t fly out of the chimney. Therefore, you must respect the law when removing them.

Although bats don’t harm your home or can’t damage your chimney, they can cause a number of health problems due to their feces or guano etc… Bat guano carries a fungus whose spores can travel in the air and cause infection. Not only that but bats can carry rabies which requires immediate treatment upon being bitten. If you have bats in your chimney they must be removed.

If you try to smoke them out by starting a fire burning bats will fill your living room as they screech down your chimney.  The only legal and permanent way to remove bats from your chimney is to perform a bat exclusion that can only be done during the months when there are no babies present. Special netting must be attached to the top of the flue in order to trap them as they flee.

Before the exclusion is performed, the entry points of the chimney must be found. Since bats tend to use the horizontal gaps as the entryway, these gaps will have to be located. If your chimney is decaying in certain areas or it has a gap where the chimney meets the roof, these areas will be equipped with exclusion devices such as pipes, funnels, and netting. The damper has to be closed when the devices are installed or bats may enter the home. The devices are fitted with one-way valves, which allow only for exiting. Once the bats have been corralled the devices can be removed and the entry points must be sealed.

Bats might be fun on Halloween but they sure aren’t fun if they are living in your chimney. Don’t take any unnecessary risks by removing them yourself.