We live in a single famil... #269389 - Ask Extension

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We live in a single famil... #269389

Asked August 11, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

We live in a single family home with a fireplace. We haven't used it in several years. I believe that a colony of bats have decided to take up residence with us in the chimney. I don't want to hurt them just don't know how it will effect our home. If it will a problem, especially since we are planning to sell and move. As of now we just hear them.

Muskingum County Ohio

Expert Response

It may be a problem if you are wanting to sell. Many times people and bats are able to coexist in the same building with no issues, as long as the people are aware there may be some clean up of guano (bat droppings). However, this may not be a strong selling point for potential buyers. ;o) You might want to think about removing the bats from your chimney. The best way to do this is to attach a one way exclusion device to your chimney. This device will allow the bats to exit the chimney but not reenter. You can find more information about excluding bats here: http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/binb/ExcludersGuidelines2014.pdf.

There are also professionals that you can hire to help you exclude the bats. You can find a list of Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operators here: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/licenses%20&%20permits/CNWACO%20Current%20Lice...
Not all of these individuals will exclude bats, just be sure to ask if they are qualified to do so. Also, exclusion work should not take place until September, or end of August at the earliest. In your chimney is a maternity colony (a group of females that have gathered together to birth and raise their young). If exclusion takes place before September, the young may not be able to fly yet and will get tapped. If a NWACO wants to exclude before September, or talks about any other options to remove the bats (moth balls or another pesticide, catching and removing the bats, killing the bats) that should be a red flag telling you that individual is not qualified to deal with bats.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to email me with any other questions!

Marne Titchenell Replied August 12, 2015, 9:20 AM EDT

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