How to Control Bats Near My Home

As the weather turns warmer, it’s time to look to the skies. During the spring thaw, we see the return of many animals, but one, in particular, can cause some trouble for homeowners: bats. These shy, flying mammals are great for the environment, but when they find their way into our homes it can be dangerous for your family. If you think you may have a bat problem or an infestation on your property, here are some tips to consider when it comes to proper bat exclusion.

Keep the Pests Out! How to Control Bats Near My Home- shy mammals

All About Bats

Bats are shy, mostly harmless flying mammals that are crucial to our ecosystem. Normally, they keep their distance from humans, unless they find a comfortable living space. Bats commonly have webbed wings, with larger bats having a span of up to five feet while smaller bats measure about six inches. They can weigh between an ounce to two pounds. These mammals live in colonies and are only active during the warmer months.

Bats eat all manner of bugs, including wasps, moths, and mosquitos. They don’t like cold or wet weather, so you will rarely see them flying in the rain. Three common bat species found in the United States include big brown bats, little brown bats, and Mexican free-tailed bats. These creatures are natural pest control experts, but when they find a cozy spot in your home, they become a nuisance species.

Where Can Bats Hide in My Home?

Like any other animals, bats are on the lookout for a comfortable place to take care of their young. Anywhere they roost will be near a good source of food, like bugs, plants, or fruit. Additionally, they will want a warm, humid environment that is typically deserted. Homes, barns, and garages may seem like wonderful shelter to bats.

They often like to hide in attics, chimneys, and eaves on houses. They can live in storm drains, mines, hollowed trees and under bridges. If the environment provides warm temperatures and plenty of food, a bat colony can live there. They only need about a half-inch opening to get inside. Once they make themselves comfortable, bats can be hard to move.

What Harm can They Cause Humans?

Though bats are harmless creatures, they can pose a serious health threat when handled incorrectly or when they live in proximity with humans. Their droppings, both fecal and urine, have an extremely unpleasant stench. Additionally, a fungus can form in their bat guano; long-term exposure can cause lung disease or histoplasmosis. Often, these droppings need to be decontaminated and removed professionally. DIY cleaning is not recommended.

While most bats do not carry diseases, a small percentage may have rabies. This can be life-threatening to humans and pets, especially when bitten. Lastly, bats arrive with pests of their own that can easily pass to humans. Bat mites and bat bugs have been known to bite humans and pets. If you discover a bat problem in your home, it should be taken care of as efficiently as possible.

Keep the Pests Out! How to Control Bats Near My Home- bat houses can help keep them out of your house.

Getting Rid of Bats

Removing bats from your home can be a tricky business. It’s not considered a do-it-yourself problem. Bats are protected by law in most states and it is illegal to kill them. Also, timing is everything when it comes to bat exclusion. If you attempt to remove bats during the mating season, you may end up separating female bats from their young.  

Proper bat removal should be done before the young are born, or after they are weaned and can fly. Attempting bat exclusion at the wrong time can trap animals inside your home – and hidden dead animals are much worse to deal with. Check with the animal control/wildlife services when attempting bat exclusion.

Mainly, the mating season is the problem. Autumn is the best time to bat-proof your home since bats leave for hibernation during this time. Calling a professional is recommended.  Before making the call, inspect your exterior; look for possible entry and exit points. The ideal time to search is 30 minutes before dark or an hour before dawn. Keep watch for about an hour. Pay attention to chimneys, eaves, and other possible access points.

Exclusion is the only method with long-term results. The best way to stop bats from entering your home is to block all possible entry points. Seal any cracks, crevices, or openings with caulk and steel wool. Cover openings with screens. Also, give them alternative options by providing bat houses in a safe location. With the right steps, your home can be bat-free.

Clean Up

The key to keeping bats away from your home making it impossible to enter. Perform constant maintenance and keep an eye on their favorite places to roost. The best way to handle a bat infestation is to stay ahead of it. If you do find yourself with a bat problem, whether it’s clean up or exclusion, consult a pest control expert or a wildlife expert. With specialized help, you can ensure the least stressful bat removal solution for both you and the bats. Take the necessary steps and keep pests out!

 


 

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