There are many different critters and creatures that you may find in and around your home. From squirrels and skunks to possums and raccoons, spotting a pest in your backyard isn’t an uncommon occurrence in southwestern Ontario, or anywhere else for that matter. These critters can be a nuisance in your backyard, however they quickly become a more significant problem if they’ve made their way into your home and attic.

One of the more serious pests that you may find in your attic is one that often gets overlooked as an issue: bats! Bats can be a very beneficial pest, however if they’re allowed to remain in your attic they can lead to some unpleasant situations, so it’s best to get them out of your home as quickly and safely as possible.

Dangers of bats in your attic

Although bats are small creatures and seem like they can’t possibly create much havoc in your attic, there are some significant dangers to be aware of.

Bat excrement can carry bacteria

When bat guano accumulates and dries out it becomes more of a powder which releases bacteria and pathogens that can easily become airborne. If bats are living in your attic for an extended period their guano can become quite a large pile which can lead to these pathogens working their way into the insulation and wood in your attic, leaving a lasting smell and potential for bacteria spread.

They can damage attic insulation

The guano that is left by bats will build up very quickly and can lead to damage to your insulation. The weight of it will compress insulation, leading to a reduction in its efficiency and can be impossible to remove once it’s settled into the batting and wood.

Bats may die in your attic or walls

If a bat falls into a wall crevice or gets stuck inside your attic and dies, the stench they put off when they decompose can permeate your home and be difficult to remove. In addition to smell, an animal carcass can draw in bugs and insects which will lead to a whole different kind of infestation.

Guano can carry disease

One of the most dangerous aspects of having bats in your attic is the potential for them to carry a disease called Histoplasmosis. This respiratory illness is spread by inhaling the vapors from bat guano, and can cause some serious issues for anyone who comes in contact with it, or anyone who’s been infected.

It’s also possible for bats to carry rabies and spread it to humans and pets, however it is unlikely for them to transmit it.

Signs that a bat may be in your attic

There are several things you might notice if you suspect you might have a bat in your attic, but you may have to look for some of the signs as they may not be obvious. If you don’t have access to your attic to look for these signs, it’s likely that you may not even notice that bats have been living there for quite some time.

Top signs you might have bats in your attic:

  • You hear them moving around your attic during the early morning and dusk hours
  • There are squeaking and scratching noises coming from your attic
  • You notice piles of guano in corners of your attic and urine stains on the walls if you can access it
  • You start noticing a strong smell of ammonia in your attic or upper levels of your home. This small comes from their urine and excrement
  • There are bats flying into and around your roofline in the early morning and evening

DIY pest removal isn’t always the best option

While many pests can be removed through DIY methods, bats are a critter that would be best dealt with by a professional. Because bats are a protected species in Ontario it is not possible to just trap or kill them by yourself. As well, thanks to the disease and bacteria that can be transmitted by bats, it is much safer to contact a professional pest removal company that is able to come fully equipped with safety gear and the proper attire for a safe pest removal.