Stuck bat

I’m listening to a bat squeal and scratch as I write this. It’s trying to escape from our fireplace. It apparently fell down the chimney last night and lodged itself in a nearly inaccessible place just above the damper or smoke shelf or whatever it’s called.

It’s been making a terrible racket all morning. With a flashlight, I can catch glimpses of the furry thing as it flaps around, but there’s no way I’m going stick my hand up there in an effort to remove it The last thing I need is a series of rabies vaccinations from a panicked bat sinking its teeth into my fingers.

I keep thinking of this old Gahan Wilson cartoon.


Approach with caution; potentially some offensive moments.


I don’t suppose you own welding gloves or a (small) fishing net?

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Nope, and even if I did, I’d need to figure out how to open the damper further, which seems totally stuck (we haven’t used the fireplace in several years). Doing that with welding gloves or even thick work gloves seems a little beyond my know-how of fireplace mechanics. I’ve considered calling a wildlife removal person. I know they get raccoons out of chimneys, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be cheap.

I hate the notion of just letting it die in there, but I suspect that’ll be the outcome. Next fall, a hot fire ought to burn out the remains. Geeech!

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The joys of home ownership.


Nothing I can offer in the way of help now. I know exterminators or even animal rescues are $$$. I would definitely get some bat screening on your chimney though :wink: (a much cheaper alternative)

Reminds me of my one and only bat story.

I won’t bore anyone … long story short … a tiny little bat got in our house when I was about 16. By my Mother’s reaction you would have thought it was a Great Condor


I can relate. I called a Chimney Sweep to get rid of it. Installed a topper with a metal screen immediately after. Be sure to coat the screen with an anti-rust paint or compound. Best of luck on this one.

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