Bats in the Belfry or Flies in the Chimney

By July 6, 2012 Understanding your home

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds

Bats in the Belfry

Yes,  This is a saying that can mean many things, but eludes to being off your rocker. A belfry is an old word for a bell tower and having bats up there a colorful way of saying that there isn’t much going on inside. Well, my neighbor just came by to tell me of flies in the chimney. See the similarities?

As a fixer of stuff and an astute clinician, I realize that understanding all of the symptoms often leads to a fairly accurate differential diagnosis without leaving the phone.

Adding a site visit will cost a few bucks, so I save that for the biggie problems. Understanding that most folks want to be part of the solution to their problems, ala the car guys, he engaged me in my little game. As I delivered the usual 20 questions, I quickly deduced what I thought was the most likely scenario.

So, it is spring in Boise and he has a tall brick chimney that has several flues; he has a cap on one and feels like there is no way that anything could have fallen in. He has not used his fireplace in a while and is stumped.

Oh how cute

My thoughts were that a rodent, like a tree rat/ squirrel, got in there was trapped. He likely had a slow miserable death.

I suggested he have a fire in the fireplace and incinerate the darn thing along with the flies and larva. Skeptical, he did what I said, but also called a chimney sweep who was able to conform my suspicion and remove what was left of the little creature.

Since he was still having residual flies enter his home, we taped off the fireplace and that solved the problem. He also installed a cap on the flue, so that should be the last episode of that mysterious problem.

My suggestion for those that live in a forested area and do not have a ash catching chimney cap ought to invest in one, because they do double duty.

More to the point, I have a neighbor with bats in the attic. Yes, we rib him about it. They are cool to see exiting his gable vents at dusk. We share a fear of the darn things, and eventually one of us will need to muster the gumption to screen off the attic while the little flying mammals are out for the evening.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, email me directly or visit our contact page.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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