It’s a nice evening. The windows are open, and a soft breeze blows through. You’re about to fall asleep when you hear a rustling sound coming from the hall. You start to blame it on the dog, when you realize he’s outside in the back yard. Curious, you climb out of bed and grope toward the door, turning on the light switch just in time to see a brown creature thrashing around the bathroom, hurling itself every which way! Ugh! A bat is in the house!
Although this is not a pleasant way to find out you have an uninvited guest, it happens. Your house is quiet; it’s dark outside; and a bat has lost its way from its colony and is caught inside your home. Now what?
Assuming it is only one lost bat, you can open the windows and doors, stand back, and watch the bat make its way outside, with the both of you happier for the exit. However, if you see more than one bat over a season, it’s likely you have an infestation. This will require the assistance of a bat control expert.
If the bats are only around once in a while, and you’re not bothered by them that much, why should you get rid of them?
- Exposure to disease
- Damage to the structure caused by urine or guano
Are those enough reasons?
But a bat or two, how difficult can it be to get rid of them? Why should you hire someone to exclude bats? The answer to this is twofold: First, you will have a reduced risk of injury (from climbing on ladders and roofs), sickness (from disturbing bat guano, a source of histoplasmosis spores), and liability (from an employee getting hurt or sick). Second, with a specialized bat control professional, you will have a much greater likelihood of success. Bat control professionals, unlike most pest control providers, have specialized training and tools for making sure all entry points are sealed and all bats excluded.
Hiring a bat control specialist will set in place a procedure much like the following:
Exclusion of Bats
Bats can get into homes through very tiny openings found along roof edges, eaves, chimney, attic or roof vents, or a dozen other possible places. These holes will have to be sealed once the bats are excluded. The task of finding all these holes and sealing them is better left to an expert—one who can identify possible entrances and has the knowledge and tools to seal them.
The bat control expert will first inspect the home or building to make sure there is an infestation. He will fit “exclusion” doors in the holes that will allow any bats in the building to exit, but not allow for re-entry. Sealing the holes before all the bats are out of the building is tantamount to failure. Netting or other temporary method of exclusion may also be placed over a chimney if a seal is inappropriate.
Bats excluded from your home or building will fly about the building for the next few days, looking for a way to return to their nest. Increased activity should be expected. Bats, however, will not chew holes for entry; thus, any bats excluded will not return once the exclusion doors are set or the holes are sealed.
After a few days (or longer, depending on the extent of the infestation), the bat control professional will return and check for signs of any lingering bats. He will then replace the exclusion doors with sealant of a sort that will prevent the bats from returning.
The bat control professional may recommend that you place a bat house of some sort near your building at some time during this process. This will give the exiled bats a place to go and will allow for the continuance of beneficial insect control provided by bats.
Depending on the size, age, and location of the infestation, once the bats are excluded, the control specialist may recommend you have the area cleaned of bat guano and urine, and any necessary repairs to walls or ceilings made.
Though it may appear the bats have just moved into your home, it is quite possible they have been there for a long time. The size of the colony, the amount of property damage, and the amount of accumulated guano in the attic or walls often surprise homeowners and managers of commercial buildings. People have lived in homes for years unaware that there was an infestation. Fortunately though, it will take only days or weeks to rid one’s home or building of a bat colony. And the peace of mind, safety, and damage prevention from the exclusion will be well worth any expense in money or time.
Our Nationwide Live Bat Control Service
We have great respect for all wildlife, and bats are a vital component of our ecology. However, we also understand that bats and humans shouldn’t live together – so we offer a humane, live bat removal service. The bats are not harmed – though they will need to find a new place to live – and you and your family own your home once again!
By Michael Koski