Identifying a Bat Problem in Your Home
May 16, 2016
Bats are an important part of the ecosystem. They also are a very misunderstood species. Bats are not going to attack you and feed on your blood, and they are not a poor little creature that needs a cuddle. They are a nocturnal species which serves a great purpose, and the last thing you want taking up residence in your attic or home.
How do you know if you have a bat problem in your home?
- There are several indicators that you may have a bat problem. You may see a bat roosting in your eaves or overhangs.
- You could see a bat leave at dusk and return just before morning. This is habitual. The bat will leave from the same spot and return to the same spot.
- You may hear scratching noises in the attic or in the walls.
- You could hear a high pitched chirping noise.
- When you go to the attic to investigate, you may see bat droppings on the floor. They look like rodent droppings, but they are clumped together. Bat droppings are called guano and you may see clumps of guano inside or outside the house
- You could see dark marks on walls. If the bats have found an exit point, they may rub against the openings and the oil from their bodies leave a black and brown stain.
- You may smell a very overpowering odor in your attic. The smell is very much like ammonia.
- You may find a dead bat on your property. This is a sign that you have a bat colony. As with any colony, you will have older and sick animals which will die. (Use extreme caution picking up a dead bat. It could have rabies which you can get even if the bad is dead.)
What purpose do bats serve?
Bats feed on insects which is good to reduce crop issues or garden issues.
Bats pollinate some plants, like the cocoa plant and the agave plant. So the next time you reach for a chocolate or a margarita, thank a bat!
Bats are nature’s re-foresters. They eat fruits and the seeds are carried in their bodies. When they deposit their waste, they are far away from the tree that gave them the fruit, and new trees will grow from the seeds.
So, as you can see, the bat is a useful and necessary animal. But they are not all good. There are many reasons we need to make sure bats are not in our homes and structures.
Why are bats dangerous?
Bats normally roost in the attics, eaves, and overhangs of a building. They have also been known to get into pipes and cause blockage or damage. Bats sleep during the day and go out at night to feed. They return and sleep during the day.
Bat waste is called guano. The guano and urine can be dropped down on floors and walkways and even between walls and such. Though the guano and urine cause an unsightly mess and unpleasant odors, and though it can cause a person to slip and fall, that is not the worst problem with guano. Guano acts as a medium for dangerous microbes that cause illness such as histoplasmosis. In some cases this fungal infection is not serious; it can be deadly if it makes its way to the lungs.
Bats can carry rabies, and if a person comes in contact with the bat he can easily be bitten and not know it. There have even been cases where a bat has bitten children while trying to get away. The teeth are so small, they may not even leave a mark. It may be the next day before the child shows the symptoms of illness.
What Can You Do?
Call a professional! Do not try to get ride the bats on your own. Bats are dangerous, but they can be safely removed. Once the bats are gone, the professional may install a bat control mesh that will prevent the bats from returning.
Caution: during the summer months there may be baby bats roosting in your attic. They are very small and cannot fly. Some species are protected by law and you may not remove them in a way that protects them.
If you see bats in your home, do not try to trap them and do not touch them. Advise children to stay away from a bat. A bat that is easy to catch is usually sick.
Super ultrasonic sound emitters.
There are companies that sell an ultrasonic sound emitter which they claim the bats can hear and they will leave. The FTC has issued a fraud warning to consumers that these machines are completely ineffective in removing bats.
Old Wives Tales
There are old wives tales that have been around for years that are ineffective. People claim placing mothballs in your attic or rags soaked in ammonia will remove the bats. This does not work. Many professionals have visited homes with these pungent deterrents and the bats are not bothered.
If you want to give it a try, first nail a horseshoe over the door frames to bring luck back to the home.
The only way to remove bats from a property is to actually remove them and ensure they cannot re-enter. This is a job for a professional. A bat can enter through a space as small as a ½ inch wide.
Once removed, they will return to the nest for about three days. With the mesh in place, they will not get in and soon they will find a new home.
Clean up from the nests is difficult and unpleasant. The guano must be cleaned up as well as the walls and rafters they inhabited
Once the job is done, the bats can cause no more damage.
Bats Away provides bat removal and clean up services for all your bat problems for homes, offices, buildings, garages, barns and other structures. Bat removal and exclusion in New Jersey.