Bats are nocturnal creatures that travel in colonies, and their large numbers can quickly cause problems for homeowners. They enter structures through spaces as small as a half an inch and often find their way inside via rooflines, chimneys, gables or vents, making attics a prime nesting location. Once inside, their extremely odorous droppings accumulate quickly and serve as a breeding ground for disease. Additionally, bats are known carriers of rabies and other insects like fleas and ticks.
Bats are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in houses. The most common complaints include the following:
- Bats living in the attic
- Bats living in the chimney
- Odor due to bat droppings
- Bats swarming around building
- Loose bat stuck inside home
For these reasons, bat prevention company are needed because many people wish to have colonies of bats removed from the building.
Shape. All bats have the same general shape and webbed wing structure.
Size and weight. The larger bats (“megabats”) may carry a wingspan of up to five feet and a weight of slightly more than two pounds. The smaller type (called “microbats”) may have a wingspan of about six inches and weigh less than one ounce.
Flight. A bat’s flight is more sporadic and swooping than a bird’s movements.
Face. The face may resemble that of a Chihuahua.
Range. Some bats live together in colonies typically ranging from 100-1,000 individuals. Others are solitary and live alone.
Species. More than 1,200 species have been discovered worldwide.
There is a balance between a female bat’s slow reproductive rate (one to two babies, called pups, each year) and a bat’s fairly long life (up to 20 years). Yet because females produce few young, and because of predators like hawks, owls, and even snakes, their populations are prone to thinning numbers or extinction.
Mating season occurs during fall, with males and females meeting to breed in hibernation sites. After the pups are born during springtime, groups come together to form maternal colonies. The mothers leave at night to find food and water and return later to nurse. The pups fly away after one month, usually in the summer. Because the young are unaccustomed to flying and to the area in general, they’re the ones most likely to stray into a human residence by accident.
The primary concern involves large colonies. If it's just a few bats, it may not be a big deal. However, if you've got a typical maternity colony of bats in your home or building or evebarn, it can be a big problem. A large colony is not only noisy and unsettling at dusk and dawn as swarms of bats fly in and out, but the main problem is that they leave their droppings and urine behind. With a large colony of bats, this really adds up. After a while large piles of droppings form. Not only do the droppings and urine corrode wood/metal, but the weight of them can collapse the ceiling below the attic - I've seen if a few times. The waste has a foul odor, but it can also grow fungal spores that people can breathe in, leading to the lung disease Histoplasmosis.
A fungal infection of the lungs that results from the fungus that grows on nitrogen-rich bat droppings, but it's also important to keep in mind the fact that the majority of the cases of rabies transmission in the United States have come from bats.10 The higher rate of infection may be because people are less cautious around bats than say, rabid raccoons, or because bats are very small and can bite and infect people in their sleep. Or perhaps the particular strain of rabies that bats or certain species of bats carry is more likely to infect people. Bat prevention company is important to avoid a fungal infection of the lungs.
HOW DO I GET RID OF BATS?
Bat removal is not a simple task. There is no effective bat repellent for example that can do the job easily. The proper way to get rid of them is to exclude the colony - seal off 100% of possible secondary entry points on the home and remove all of the bats from the building safely. It is often very challenging, and it must be done just the right way. An amateur attempt, by someone with no experience, or worse, a pest control company that uses bat poison, could result in disaster - dead, rotting bats, and bats swarming throughout the walls and the home.
Bat prevention tips
Once bats have been removed, steps need to be taken to stop them from coming back. Very rarely do bats chew their way through wood or other materials like some other pests will. They also tend not to have the strength or claws to tear and rip their way through the roofing materials, wood or other substances to get inside and set up their nests. That usually means there is damage to eaves or the roof that gives them easy access to the space between the walls or within attics.
Bats are also always seeking food and their preferred food is insects. In particular, bats are fond of mosquitoes.
Bats and bat colonies can consume huge amounts of mosquitoes around a property. This is why some people prefer to have bats around and can set up specific bat houses to allow bats to live on their property - just not inside their homes and within attics where they can leave a mess and cause property damage. However, if your property has an issue with too many mosquitoes or other insects that bats may like to eat, a repeated bat infestation may have an underlying cause.
Bat prevention company is key to stopping them from infesting in the first place. Here are some common sense tips to prevent bats.
- Seal up cracks and look for access points.
- Make sure roof repairs are done and remove other areas that bats might use to roost during the daylight hours.
- Remove conditions that mosquitoes find attractive is important too and effective mosquito control can cause bats to look elsewhere.