If you find one bat in your home, the chances are that you have a full colony living within the house. Bat removal isn’t easy. In fact, it’s quite a tedious job. Bats are classified as a pest species due to their tendency to reside in people’s homes. However, as familiar as these pests may be, much of the public remains confused or misinformed about bats, their habits, and how they can affect humans and the environment.
Contrary to popular belief, bats are not birds or even part of the bird family. They are, in fact, flying mammals that choose to live in large colonies. These pests are often depicted in horror films due to their nocturnal habits and vampire myths. However, they are generally much smaller than those seen in such movies and will typically avoid human contact.
Bats can be harmful
As is the case with most creatures, bats will most likely bite out of fear if handled, so always be sure to wear appropriate gloves and attire. This will protect you from contracting possible infections, rabies or similarly harmful diseases that are commonly carried by these mammals.
The most common complaint from homeowners relates to bats living in an attic and the unpleasant odor created by bat droppings (guano). This excrement can quickly pile up, producing a strong, rancid, ammonia-like stench during its decomposition process. Along with the smell comes the presence of H-capsulatum spores (a parasitic fungus). Inhaling these spores can cause humans to contract Histoplasmosis, an infectious respiratory disease. Although the symptoms can vary and are often similar to the flu, prolonged exposure and incorrect treatment due to a misdiagnosis can lead to chronic lung disease.
What to do when you find bats
If you suspect that there are bats in your attic or walls, find a pest management professional that is licensed and well-versed in bat trapping, catching and netting techniques. When calling local pest control companies, ask for a bat removal professional who will perform a permanent bat exclusion and attic clean up which includes the replacement of soiled insulation. Do not attempt to get rid of the pests on your own. Bat removal professionals have the appropriate experience and expertise to tackle anything from bats swarming around an office building to capturing a loose bat in your house.
Selecting your bat removal professional
When you choose your bat removal professional, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The bat removal professional should notice the details and point out noticeable signs of bats
- The bat removal professional should locate all entry points. Any construction gaps larger than the size of a dime must be sealed to prevent the bats from re-entering. Then, a narrow one-way door is installed for them to exit.
- Ladders and climbing gear should be used to safely inspect roof lines, dormers, vent systems, chimneys, and any other possible areas that bats may use to get inside the structure.
- When inspecting the attic, a full face respirator will most likely be worn to protect from Histoplasmosis.
- The bat removal professional will clean up the guano and should treat it like a biohazard material. Lastly, there will likely be a thorough removal of all insulation in the attic space. After making sure that the attic is dust free, it will be sprayed for fungus and spores then deodorized. Finally, once the attic has dried, new insulation will be installed.
Exclusion of bats is the best solution
Although it may seem to be the simplest solution, killing bats to correct a bat problem is illegal by federal and state law as they are considered to be endangered species. There are also no registered or effective bat repellants available. In fact, the FTC has issued a warning against the high pitch noisemakers that some people use.
The most effective and permissible way to get rid of bats is through total exclusion and one-way bat doors. Once the exclusion is complete, rest assured that your home will remain bat-free and your family will no longer be at risk for contracting any of the diseases bats may carry. Although there is no quick or easy fix for bat removal, contacting a local bat removal professional is the first step to correctly handle your bat problem.
If you’re having issues with bats or other nuisance wildlife, contact the pros at Modern Pest Services at 1-800-323-7378.