If you find bats in your house or building, the most important thing is not to panic but to get rid of the bats quickly. Even though bats have a reputation for being evil and aggressive, this is mainly due to Hollywood hype.
Bats often find homes in attics, chimneys, roofs or window panes. They only need a half inch gap to squeeze through, since they are so tiny. If you get rid of bats quickly and before they start nesting in your home, there is little risk of harm. You often hear about bats spreading rabies, which can happen, but a more immediate health risk comes from exposure to bat droppings, referred to as bat guano. Bat guano can cause a condition called histoplasmosis which can bring with it respiratory and heart related complications.
Hear are a few steps to take for getting rid of bats.
How to Check if Bats are Living in Your Home
Bat removal starts with finding out how they’re getting in and out of your house. They are nocturnal so will start to fly in and out between dusk and dawn.
Signs of bats include droppings, which will be everywhere in the vicinity of their nest. Also, a musty, stale smell could indicate that bats are living in your house.
Bat entry and exit points will be noticeable by the dropping marks of the bats which cause staining and dirt marks. The size of the holes can be really small, only half an inch high by one and a half inches wide. The staining and colour marks from the bats will be your best indication that you have a bat infestation. If you do find entry and exit holes you can start to seal them up, but remember that you’ll need to leave at least one hole open so that there is an exit point through which the bats can get out.
Plugging the holes should be done at night, since the bats should be up and out during this time.
Valve traps are a good way of stopping bats from re-entering your home, once you’ve found their entry and exit points. These traps allow the bats to fly out of the hole and prevents them from coming back in. In essence, you’re bat proofing your home while not trapping them within it.
Alternative Methods for Getting Rid of Bats
Alternatively, netting can be used that allows them to get out but not back in. There are also cones made of plastic that allow bats to leave and prevent re-entry. Any of these devices must be used for several days to ensure all of the bats leave and get used to the idea that they can’t get back in – once this happens, they will look for alternative dwellings.
Mothballs can make an easy, cheap bat repellent. If you are able to hang mothballs around the areas that they are settling in at night, this should deter them from returning.
Using poison to simply kill off bats will probably cause more problems than solutions, and there is in fact no legal poison specifically designed for bat extermination anyway. You’d also be left with many dead bats to get rid of – instead, choose a method that is both legal and safe.
To encourage them to other spots on your land you can purchase bat houses – this ups the odds that they will settle there, rather than your attic or house.
Bat Control Regulations
Bats are also protected by several laws and regulations here in Halton, including the City of Burlington and Town of Oakville. The only legal method of getting rid of them is to prevent them from returning to the place they have nested in.
Bat Removal – DIY Versus the Pros
You might consider trying a few of the options we’ve outlined above before you call in bat control experts, especially if your bat problem isn’t chronic. But the advantages of hiring a wildlife removal expert is that not only are they able to come and assess your bat problem, they also have all the necessary equipment to prevent them from returning.
Hiring an expert makes the whole process a lot easier since they will ensure plugging is done correctly, remove any remaining bats, and clean up the mess they’ve left behind.
Photo Credit: © Olena Sokalska | Dreamstime.com