Don’t let their bad reputation fool you just because bats, like snakes, are slightly spooky – they’re pest control experts in their own right. These nocturnal flying mammals feed largely on insects that would otherwise cause a nuisance to humans. Sometimes denigratively referred to as “flying rats”, these critters have very little in common with rodents except their ability to carry and spread disease and pose a nuisance when they enter homes, garages, businesses and other buildings.
Bats in your attic?
Are you having bat problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart,
or (260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your bat removal.
There are over 1,000 species of bats around the world, with approximately 40 in the United States. Their furry bodies are usually tan, red or brown, though they can be black or gray as well. There’s a great range of sizes, with smaller bats measuring two and a half to three and a half inches long with wingspans of a mere 8 inches. Larger bats can measure between eight inches and one foot in length, with wingspans of up to two feet across. Wings are lightweight and thin with a structure that resembles an outstretched human hand with delicate webbing.
Bats in Your Home and Yard
Bats are highly adaptable creatures and exist everywhere except the most extreme climates. From dry deserts to damp woodlands, both rural and urban areas alike, bats are everywhere. They prefer warm temperatures and survive by hibernating during the winter in temperate climate zones. Barns, attics, eaves and the undersides of structures are prime roosting territory for bats.
While your home might not be the first location a bat would think of to nest during its active months, you may find yourself with an unwanted house guest or two as bats select a spot to overwinter. By squeezing in through openings as small as an inch, these critters can’t resist finding a protected, sheltered spot to hibernate inside your attics, walls and ceilings.
Problems Caused by Bats
Although they’re mostly benign, bats in your home do pose risks. Bats are vectors for disease, most notably rabies and histoplasmosis. Even though the risk of acquiring the rabies virus from a bat is rare, since even infected bats will only bite when they feel threatened, it’s not a risk most want to face.
Histoplasmosis, on the other hand, is an infection caused by a fungus that breeds within the warm, fertile environment produced by bat droppings. When people inhale the spores, they get sick.
Like other mammals, bats can play host to fleas, ticks, mites and flies that pose a risk to the humans whose homes they invade. Bats can also cause cosmetic and superficial damage — their urine and feces are staining and unpleasant, and the odor lingers long after cleanup occurs.
Dealing with a Bat Problem
If you’d like to encourage bats to roost in an appropriate space on your property, consider building a bat house close to your garden or home, where you can reap the benefits of having a bat on site while lessening the chance of having one invade your home. Sealing up cracks and openings, as well as lighting up attics and eaves can discourage bats from seeing your home as their next roosting spot.
Although exclusion is effective, it must be performed carefully. If an adult or baby bat is trapped indoors during the process of sealing up cracks and holes, they may seek out your living space or die in confinement. Critter Control specialists can remove the bats and help you identify the points of entry, as well as educate you on the exclusion process.
If a bat is found in a room where you or your family are sleeping – as a bat’s bite is rarely ever felt during sleep – or if the bat is suspected to be rabid, don’t wait to call Critter Control. A qualified professional can remove the bat safely and securely and begin the process of testing for rabies immediately.