What To Do If You Suspect Bats Are In Your Home!
September 28, 2015
Bats are an important part of our ecology. Bats eat insects in large numbers. Opposite to popular belief, bats are not effective mosquito control. Mosquitos tend to be on brush near water and people (which they feed from). Bats are not accustomed to that environment, as they live in darkness and hunt at night.
It is common knowledge that bats are often carriers of rabies. In the United States bats were the animal most often found to be rabid when a case of rabies was identified. Not all bats have rabies. A bat can carry rabies and not have the virus.
Bat bugs are blood sucking insects that live on bats and feed on their blood. Bat bugs look and behave very much like bed bugs. It is believed that bed bugs actually descended from bat bugs. Though these insects prefer bats as their hosts; they will move on to humans if bats are eliminated and bat bugs are not addressed.
How to tell if Bats Are in Your House
1. Do you hear a scratching sound in the attic?
Though other animals make scratching sounds, bats have a rather unique sound. For example, they will not sound like mice in the walls. The scratching will be mostly at night and in the attic.
2. Do you smell ammonia?
Bat droppings accumulate and develop an ammonia type smell. However, if you smell ammonia from the guano (waste) your problem is already a serious one.
3. Do you see bat droppings in your attic?
Bat droppings look much like rat droppings, only the droppings are not scattered. It will be clumped together.
4. Do you see bats flying from your house?
If you suspect that you have bats in your house, go outside at dusk every night for a few nights and watch the upper part of the house (where the roof overhangs). Watch until it is too dark to see. Bats will leave at dusk to feed. You need to continue watching to get an idea of how many bats have taken up residence in your house.
If you come in contact with a bat in your house, you should be very concerned. It is rare to be able to get close to a bat unless it is sickly and thus moving slowly.
There have been cases where children, elderly people and disabled people have become very sick and in some cases have died after being bitten by an infected bat without knowing it. A bat has very small teeth. In one case a parent went to check on a sleeping toddler and saw a bat fly from his bed. The child did not awaken and the parent saw no marks and they did not seek help. The child had been bitten without the child or the parent’s knowledge. The child died from rabies. In another case a young boy spotted a bat in his room and opened the windows and tried to force the bat out with a broom. At some point the bat bit or scratched the boy, but the boy did not feel the injury. He also contracted rabies.
If you see a bat in your home, call animal control, your local health department or the CDC for help and instruction. If there are children, elderly or disabled people in the home take them to the hospital immediately for testing. Never touch, handle or attempt to trap a bat on your own. A professional exterminator should be contacted immediately.
A professional exterminator will need to assess the situation and determine a plan of action based on the severity of the bat problem. He will present you with humane options to rid your home of the problem. After he has eliminated the threat, he will be able to show you ways the bats are entering Screening may be needed to prevent the bats from being able to enter your home.
Because bat droppings are potentially contaminated, a through clean-up is necessary. All areas where the bats nested, entered and exited the house must be cleaned well with bleach. The area to be cleaned needs to be ventilated at least 30 minutes before and after the cleaning. Protective clothing, masks and gloves must be worn. The cleaning solution should be one part bleach and ten parts water. Make sure all people are away from the area and in a well ventilated area during the cleaning. Have a professional take care of this if you can, to ensure it is done effectively.
Bats often enter and exit and even rest in chimneys. Before screens are installed, have a professional clean the inside of your chimney.
Check your attic carefully for any frayed electrical wires caused by bats.
As you can tell, bats are a serious problem and they can be deadly. They can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. They should be addressed and removed as soon as you know you have a problem. The cost of having a professional remove bats from your property is minor when you consider the danger you and your family are in from bats, bat droppings, and bat bugs.
If you are buying a home that is older or in an area where beautiful old neighborhoods remain, have the house inspected for bats before you purchase it and insist that any problems be resolved.
If you find signs of bats in your house, make sure you have all other structures inspected and treated. This includes garages, barns and storage buildings.
Alliance Pest Services is you NJ bat removal and control provider. We offer bat exclusion and proofing for your home and buildings. Bats can be a problem in the attic, eves, attics and more. Let Alliance keep your home bat free.