Well this is one for the books – last weekend (thank God I wasn’t home alone!!) we heard some odd scratching sounds coming from the fireplace. Daisy was alarmed, staring at the glass doors with her ears perked high. I’d have taken pictures if I hadn’t been so freaked out…
I got a flashlight and looked through the doors – and there it was. A bat! And it’s not even Halloween! YIKES!!
A small brown bat had somehow made its way through the chimney cap meshing, past the closed flue and into the firebox. Of course, it was nearly midnight. He was probably trying to get out to make his nightly rounds.
We called a 24-hour emergency animal control place that didn’t answer the phone (really?? 24 hour emergency place??) and never called us back…not even the next day. Believe me when I tell you I left them some serious negative feedback.
Even though we have insulation around the fireplace doors, we stuffed rags between the bricks and doors to make sure everything was sealed up, and we put packaging tape over the doors to make sure he couldn’t push his way into the house. I know it’s not logical, but I was totally freaked out!!
All night and the next day he made a racket with his claws scratching up and down the walls of the firebox and climbing up the mesh of the screen behind the glass doors. It was really weird watching him move around, I never realized how creepy a crawling bat looks!
I got another emergency animal control service to come out and had to pay an exhorbitant fee for an emergency Sunday call. At the time, I didn’t care. Here take my money, take it all, just get rid of the &$%! bat!!
The guy came and when he got on the roof, took off the chimney cap and looked down the chimney, he saw two more hanging on the chimney walls! At that point I was ready to pack my bags, hire a realtor and move to Norway. Or Iceland. Wherever there are no bats and no bugs.
The guy said our chimney cap is old and the meshing on it was good for keeping out birds but bats could squeeze through it – apparently they only need an opening the size of a pinky finger to get through. Who knew?! So he put bat netting up that’s supposed to allow the bats to leave but not let them back in. As much as the thought of having bats in our chimney freaked me out, I didn’t want them harmed, and this place uses humane methods to encourage them to relocate.
The guy didn’t want to open the fireplace doors to get the other bat out because he was very active and could have gotten into the house. I didn’t want him to die in there, but we had no choice but to let him be. I’m happy to report that the freaky little guy found his way out Sunday night! Apparently there’s a very small opening that has to be there and this little explorer found it, squeezed through it, and ended up where he shouldn’t be. Somehow he found his way back up and escaped. Whew!
They finally came yesterday, a week and a half later, to take the netting off, check the chimneys and put up new chimney caps on both fireplaces – there may not have been any bats in the second fireplace, but I’m not taking any chances!
So we’re out $800 unexpectedly but now I don’t jump every time I hear a sound. On to the next crisis… 😉