Though there are many different types of bat species noted in the United States, it is normally the bat types that live in colonies which are problems to homeowners.
Though bats aren’t aggressive, they are considered a challenge when large colonies of them begin to live in buildings and the roofs in peoples’ homes. Their feces, better known as guano, accumulates very quickly and is a perfect place for Histoplasmosis to grow. Histoplasmosis is a fungus which humans can pick up by simply breathing that causes fungal diseases. The other potential problem with colonizing bats in the possibility of rabies that has been known to cause death in humans and pets.
If you know you have a bat problem and plan on removing the bats yourself, there are things you should know.
Bats: Importance and Behavior
The more you know about bats before you attempt to remove them from your home, the better.
Bat removal should be taken on by those who know what they are dealing with or professionals. Knowing their importance and behavior will help when it is time for them to be removed.
Bats are vital to our ecosystem, especially the colonies. These flying mammals eat incredible amounts of insects and can control large insect populations quite well. There are some bats that not only eat substantial amounts of bugs but also help with pollination and the dispersion of seed, which increases the number of plants that are essential food sources for humans and plant-eating animals.
Bats are also a great, natural way to gauge the health of the environments we live in. Bats populations grow well where the environment is strong and healthy. If bats are not present where they usually should be, it is an excellent indicator that the area is not healthy.
Also Read: Bat Control
Bat behavior is critical to know when you are considering removing a bat colony from your home. They are night creatures that sleep during the day and begin to come out just before the sun has set.
Most colonizing bats that create large roosts or nests are females who colonize together in attics, towers and other human-made structures where they can get in. Knowing this should help you when it is time for the exclusion of the bats from your home.
Steps to Bat Removal
- Investigation: We have already talked a little about the research above. But there are other things you should know about your bats as well. What type of bats do you have? How big are they? When do they give birth? This last question is crucial to know because the birthing season is the worse time to plan your exclusion process. It would be a disaster to have baby bats trapped in your home and the mothers caught outside. The chance of ending up with a significant amount of dead baby bats in your home creates a bigger job for you – not to mention the possibility of it being illegal as well as inhumane. Exclusions, therefore, should be done when the babies can fly.
- Inspection: Research the common entry points for bats into your home, and inspect them first. Vents and ridge caps are big on this list. Damaged areas, like missing boards or bricks and any small openings, are potential entries as well. Look for signs of bat excrement and check those areas. Roofs are excellent places to find entryways because they are well-situated for them to see when they are flying. If you are going to do this on your own, take the time to inspect your roof and chimney then fix what openings you can, making sure you leave their main entry open.
- Set up your exclusion device: Buy the exclusion device that is best for your home, whether netting, funnels or cones. We don’t believe in killing the bats; we want them to live and do their job for the environment. Make sure you place them so that the bats can fly out of your home but not back in. Remember, this is best done at night when most of them are already out and eating. Whatever exclusion device you decide to use, do your research and make sure you set it up correctly as it is not as easy as it sounds.
- Observe: Once you have set up your devices, take the time to watch and make sure they are working correctly. Setting up a one-way device means you need to make sure it is one way. If it seems like it is working well, leave it up for a few days to ensure all of the bats get out.
- Check that the bats are gone: After a few days, check and make sure all of the bats have left. If this is the case, remove your exclusion devices and repair these openings and be sure sure that they are fixed correctly, as you don’t want the bats to return by finding a way back in nor to have to start the process all over again.
- Clean up time: The bats were a problem but so is their guano. Once the bats are gone and can’t get back in, remove the guano and decontaminate the area. You need to remove the guano and thoroughly decontaminate the former nesting area. Bat guano can ruin your home structures as well as be a breeding ground for disease.
You have all of the information you need for successful bat removal, but should you do it? You can do it, and hopefully, the tools above will help you. But if you want it done right the first time, contact a professional and save yourself the grief.