Q: I think I have bats in my chimney! Every day when I come in the house from work I hear lots of cheeps and whirring sounds from the fireplace. My children won’t go in the living room. How can I get the bats out of the chimney?
A: It is unlikely that you have bats in your chimney.
Bats, of course, prefer belfries and haunted houses. A chimney is not a likely place for a colony of bats to choose for a home.
It is much more likely that you have chimney swifts (a type of swallow) in your chimney. These birds attach their nests to the chimney walls with saliva and lay their eggs therein.
Summer is when the young swifts hatch and greet their returning parents several times each day with a cacophony of chirps and cheeps. The whirring sound you hear is the adult birds’ wing beats.
Chimney swifts eat flying insects, including mosquitoes, and are considered very beneficial.
Their nests are not typically a fire hazard. Only your cat or dog might be discomfited by their summer presence.
To calm your family, stuff fiberglass insulation up in the fireplace damper area to muffle the noise of the birds. They will migrate away from your home in early fall.
Personally, I look forward to their return to my open chimney in late spring each year.
If you think differently and want to exclude them from your chimney, a mesh chimney cap can be installed.