So, You Think You Got Bats
Bats are pretty cool animals, but they aren’t cool in our houses. I’ve had a firsthand experience when it comes to bats in the house. I wanted to talk about my experience with bats in the house, some tips on what to do when there is a bat in the house, and how to prevent more from getting in!
My Bat Background
At the time, I knew nothing about bats. I didn’t realize how blessed I was to grow up in a house without bats. The first time I had a bat in my house was when I was 22. In my opinion, it was a real-life, adult situation that no one prepares you for! I’ve seen bats flying outside at nighttime around the streetlights in town but didn’t pay them any mind. I guess I should have known with my luck they would be living up in our attic one day!
I moved back to a small rural town after college where I was used to seeing all kinds of wildlife. It was common to see the deer, raccoons, mice, snakes, sometimes opossums, etc. The house was a little rough on the outside, but we’re taking it one house project at a time. I was told there had been one bat in the house previous to me moving in. Naively, I brushed off the comment and decided it probably came in a door or window. (By the way bats don’t really like to enter houses that way. It rarely happens.) Months passed and we had completed a few interior renovations without any incidents.
First Encounter with a Bat In My House
It was a summer night, and we were lounging at home watching some tv like we would normally do. It was raining heavily and a thunderstorm was rolling in. Like the common Midwesterners we are, we went outside to the garage to watch the storm roll in. It seemed like a normal storm, lots of thunder and lightning. The storm must have grown more intense because at some point the power went off.
We decided to head back in the house to check on the dog and for some flashlights. When we opened the door and walked inside, there it was just flying around! A little brown bat flying back and forth in the living room and dining room. I immediately went back outside to the garage! This was not my problem to deal with, so I left it to my boyfriend. He’s dealt with stuff like that before, so it seemed fitting at the time.
What Happens When It Roosts?
Our neighbor eventually heard us having problems and came to try and help. She braved it and went inside; I stood by the door with my flashlight. Unfortunately, even with her help, we couldn’t get the bat out of our house. Eventually, the bat tired out and decided it needed to rest, somewhere in our house.
Once a bat finds a place to roost inside the house, it is almost impossible to find it until it flies again. They can fit into the tiniest areas; keep in mind they can fit through dime-sized spaces. So that’s the end of it right? The bat’s gone and now we can go to bed. WRONG!
Getting Rid of The Bat
I’m the type of person who doesn’t go to bed when a live bat is in the house with me. At this point, we were waiting out the bat. This whole ordeal started at about 11 p.m. when the power shut off. We stayed up until after one in the morning waiting for this bat to fly again. Finally, the bat came swooping back by the living room ceiling fan. We, mostly he, managed to get the bat out of the house. It still wasn’t easy to go to bed that night. When there is one bat there are usually more somewhere. They live in groups called colonies, so the odds of having just one bat in the house are slim!
The next day we did some research on what to do about bats in the house. By research, I mean hours of extensive googling about bats. We were pretty much bat experts by the end of the day. As we continued our research, we learned two things: getting rid of a bat in your home is difficult and there are a bazillion websites on how to do it yourself.
When it comes to bat proofing, leave it to professionals. If you seal up the wrong spot or don’t give them an exit, the only place to bats can go is into the house more! Bat proofing and removal services, when done correctly, are 100% effective at getting the bats out and keeping them out. It is the safest, most permanent method for getting bats out of your house.
Safe Bat Removal
Looking back on this whole situation, I see a few things we should have done differently. If there is a live bat flying in your house, one of the easiest things to try and to get the bat out is to open windows and doors. The bat is just as terrified of us, so it’s looking for a quick escape! Since bats use echolocation, they know exactly how to find the exit. Don’t worry, the bat will not get stuck in your hair! Bats do not attack humans they are way too scared of us.
If the bat is dormant, you can try to capture the creature and then release it outside. Downside to that is the bat will just fly around to its entry point and re-enter the house. Bats are intelligent little critters. They don’t like to leave their safe place easily.
Best Practices for Bat Removal
To sum up everything, when you have a live bat in the house try not to panic. Yes, it’s a scary situation but it’s fixable. It helps to take it one step at a time. Start by getting the bat out in an effective way before it rests. Remember bats are federally protected so it is illegal to kill them.
Do your research on what it takes to remove bats from your home. We recommend this because it’s not as easy as it may sound. Don’t waste money on the DIY home remedies to get rid of bats. Some of them are dangerous, ridiculous, or just make your attic smell like peppermint.
If you truly have a bat issue, look into professional companies to fix the problem. Make sure the company specialized in bats. Regular pest control companies do not have the same experience as bat specific companies. The right company will fix the problem the first time they come out, so you don’t have to deal with a new bat problem every summer.
Typically, there is a warranty with bat proofing and bat removal services to guarantee the work. Make sure you are getting a good warranty for what you pay! Alpha Bat Removal actually has the longest warranty in the bat removal business, it’s a standard 10-year transferable warranty with the option of a lifetime warranty!
When you see bats flying at night, some people wonder, “when and where do bats sleep?” Some people may also wonder if they sleep at all! These are very good questions and ones we get asked all the time. There is so much that we are all still learning about bats, and not every bat is the same; there are multiple different bat species.
Bats Are Nocturnal
Bats are nocturnal which means they are active at night time. Bats will usually leave their daytime roosts at dusk. Bats love to sleep in trees, rock crevices, caves, and buildings – just about any place they can fit that’s dark. The darker and quieter the area is, the better it is for the bats.
When They Aren’t Sleeping…
When they do leave their roosts, bats will fly to a stream, pond or anywhere they can find water so they can dip their lower jaw into the water while still in flight and take a drink of water. This is normally one of the first things they do because they are rather thirsty and hungry as well. One bat species we know, the little brown bat emerges from their dark roosts two to three hours after dusk to feed. When they are done eating, bats will return to their roosts to sleep out the rest of the night and day hanging upside down.
A Consistent Routine
When it comes to bats, they are very much creatures of habit. They roost together in the same place year after year. And another thing you can count on is that bats will leave guano droppings on the entrance of their roost area every night as well. The only time that bats will not come back to their roosting spot is if it has been closed up, and they do not have access to it anymore or if there are predators that could get to them.
For the most part, bats are most active between the hours of dusk to dawn. As night time starts to approach, bats begin to increase their activity. They will start flying around their cave and then leave in search of food and water. When they are ready to start to feed they will typically feed for about an hour or two and then they will rest for a little bit before they will go back and feed again before daybreak. You might be wondering– when do bats go to roost? You most likely will catch a glimpse of bats leaving and returning to their roosts in the early mornings and around sunset. The daytime is usually spent inside a secluded shelter resting by hanging upside down, grooming, sleeping, and just talking with one another using sounds.
How They Sleep
When bats are ready to go to sleep, they are famous for hanging upside down. If we humans tried that, obviously we would fall on our heads. But for bats this adaption allows them to huddle closely together for protection against cold weather and predators. It enables individual bats to expend less energy when taking flight. Specially evolved feet lock onto an overhead surface and keep the bat in place without requiring any effort on their part. When bats wake up and are ready to take off, they simply drop into the air. Bats love to sleep in caves or anywhere that is dark and cool. Many bats share a sleeping location or roost with thousands or even millions of other bats. Can you imagine sharing your home where you sleep with that many people in one area? That would just be crazy!
Always Upside Down
It may seem odd, but bats roost or perch upside down for several reasons. Unlike birds, bats cannot launch their bodies into the air from the ground because their wings don’t produce enough lift to take off like a helicopter. If they could get a running start that would help them out, but because they are not able to run to gain enough speed for lift-off. Bats are left with no choice but to use their claws to climb to a high spot and let go so they can fall into flight. If for some reason a bat needs to escape quickly, hanging upside-down means they are already in the perfect position to spread their wings and fly away in case of danger when they are sleeping.
Seeing a Bat During the Day
As nocturnal animals, bats are rarely seen outside during the daytime. If a bat is away from its nest there is a greater likelihood that it is ill and should be avoided. Sick bats are likely to act abnormally. They may be unable to fly or might be lying on the ground as if injured. White nose syndrome is a specific illness that bats can contract. What exactly is that? It’s a fungus that can grow on the bat’s face and wings. It will slowly start to kill the bats when they have this type of fungus. It is starting to kill off more bats then they can keep up with, and it is one of the reasons as to why bats are starting to become extinct as well.
When you see a bat roosting during the day it just wants to hang out with its colony and does not want to be bothered. Most of the time a bat does not want to come into your home but if for some reason it does, normally it’s just trying to find a warm place to hang out at and start its hibernation. Once spring comes bats will wake up and leave so they can find some food to build their energy back up and get healthy enough to be able to take care of the pups or babies that are in the colony.
As we’ve said, bats want a dark cool place to sleep. They are extremely sensitive to the cold weather though so it can’t be too cold! That’s why you typically only see them out and about during the spring and summer months. If you have a bat in your home during the winter, the best thing to do is to call someone specialized to remove the bat without harming it. Depending on where the bat is located, you might not be able to get it removed until spring when it is safe to let it outside. Any bat removal professional will be able to evaluate the situation and safely get rid of the bat or find where it came from.
Bats Connected to Viruses
As most of us know, bats contain and transport many different viruses and sicknesses. Some of them are harmful, and some not harmful to humans. Because of this previous scientific finding, some may be wondering, are bats intensifying the novel Coronavirus. SARS, MERS, Ebola, and Marburg are just some examples of previous viruses caused by animals.
As the SARS outbreak was occurring in 2003, scientists were looking to find which animal acted as a natural host for the virus. After about a year of research, they concluded that bats are the one animal best equipped to carry viruses.
How Bats Survive Viruses like the Novel Coronavirus
So, if bats are the animal carrying and transporting these viruses, why aren’t they dying from them? Scientists have tried researching the immune systems of bats, although it is still a nascent field. No one has completely figured out why, but there are some reasons and theories. Perhaps in the future, with more study research, scientists could find a way to use the immune systems of bats to help create a way to fight off diseases in humans, such as COVID-19.
However, most research suggests that bats have been living with these diseases for thousands of years. Considering there are billions of bats around the world there is evidence that over time bats have become accustomed to and adapted to living with these types of viruses. Bats just coevolved with these viruses that don’t cause any harm to them.
Transfering to Humans Is Where the Danger Lies
It’s not the virus in the bat that is dangerous; it’s when the virus finds its way and makes contact with a human. Bats have developed the ability to live with these viruses and while bats carry the virus, it tends to intensify and attempt to overtake the immune system fighting it off. The virus is usually worse when attracted to a human than when in a bat.
Scientists do find it strange that a virus such as COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease. When bats fly, their body temperature rises to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and their heartbeat is around 1,000 beats per minute. So, if this disease were affecting their breathing, you would think they would start dropping at a rapid pace due to the extreme things their bodies go through during flight.
A large number of people ask us how and why bats transmit diseases so rapidly. Bats are a species that rely on the company of other bats. When bats aren’t hibernating, they are either sleeping or eating for the most part. And when they are sleeping, they like to roost and hang in large colonies. They get very close and rub on each other. So, if just one bat had a disease, most likely by the end of one day the rest of the bats in that colony will also be carrying the same disease. While they are roosting, they urinate and release feces on each other due to how close they are. The close proximity causes the rapid spreading of viruses.
How Do Diseases Spread from Bats to Humans?
Bats like to establish homes in people’s houses, mainly in the attics. There is always a possibility that a bat can make its way into a home. In most cases, bats do not deliberately attack humans. They are mostly scared of and try to stay away from them. But there are the very rare cases where a human can unintentionally provoke a bat into attacking them. A human confrontation with a bat can result in a bite or a scratch. Those bites or scratches are what lead to the disease spreading. If a human goes into an attic where bats are living, and the fumes from all of the feces and urine they leave behind become airborne, someone could breathe that in and could be infected that way.
So are bats intensifying the coronavirus? There still isn’t enough research to prove if they are or not. With the way a bat’s immune system works and the way they can intensify the actual virus while it is attached to them, it is very possible. But they can be held accountable for spreading it, and with the number of bats in the billions, it is no surprise that diseases in bats spread more rapidly than others.
Bats are interesting creatures. Most people don’t know a whole lot about bats until one gets loose in their house and they turn to Google! Some common questions we get asked are: Do bats attack humans? Are bats blind? Do bats migrate? There are many more questions we get asked daily, but we also get asked about bat myths. Have you heard the one that says that bats will leave your house if you leave the attic lights on? Could it be that simple? Well, bats are as complex as they are interesting. Keep reading, and we will discuss some common myths about bats.
Bats Are Blind – Myth
This is a very common myth when you are talking about bats. Bats are in fact NOT blind. Bats can see quite well! When bats go out to feed, it’s important for them that they have good vision. Think about it: they are swooping through the night air to catch insects. How many times have you tried to swat a fly or mosquito and missed? When bats “miss” that insect, it’s missing part of his/her meal! Not only do bats have an amazing sense of sight, but they also use their ears to help guide them. Bats use echolocation to locate food and navigate when flying. Echolocation is using sound waves/ vibrations to locate insects and other objects as they fly. If you’ve ever heard a bat, then you know they make a high-pitched, screechy, chirpy sound. When bats fly, they are emitting those high-pitched sound waves, which serve as another set of “eyes” for the bats. So, to clear things up, no, bats are not blind. Bats can find their way around, even in the pitch dark, much better than most humans!
Bats Get Stuck in Hair
I’ve been working with bats for a few years now, and I have never heard of a bat getting caught in someone’s hair. I’ve heard of people waking up to a bat on their pillow or in the sink, but never entwined and “nesting” in hair. If you fear bats, then the one thing you can take comfort in is that bats are terrified of humans. Bats want nothing to do with us—except to live in our houses for free and poop all over the attic.
When a bat gets loose in a house, its goal is to find an exit as quickly as possible. It may seem as if the bat is swooping around you or “attacking” you, but really that bat is scared and frantically flying to find a way out! Keep that in mind in case you ever encounter a bat. The next time you encounter a bat, open windows and doors to give the bat an easy exit. Don’t worry; it won’t be looking to get stuck in your hair!
All Bats Have Rabies – Myth
Another well-known myth is that all bats have rabies. Not ALL bats have rabies. Even though bats are a species that can carry rabies, that does not mean all bats do. To put it in perspective, only about 1% of the bat population carries the rabies disease. That doesn’t mean that rabies is any less dangerous of a disease.
Rabies is a serious disease that can be fatal if it is not caught in time. If you are ever exposed to a bat scratch or bite, you should seek medical attention immediately. It’s possible to have the bat sent off for testing to see if it has rabies. When a bat is tested for rabies, some of its brain material is taken as a sample. Unfortunately, that means the bat will need to be humanely euthanized. Bats don’t mean us harm, but when they are sometimes scared, their only defense is to scratch or bite. Not all bats have rabies, but if you encounter a bat scratch or bite don’t wait to see a doctor. Go in immediately.
Bats Hate Light
Have you ever been sleeping and had someone turn the lights on or shine a light in your face? Did you wake up? Probably. Did you move out of your house when someone turned a light on or shined a light in your face when you were sleeping? No, well neither will the bats. When bats move into your house, they are not going to leave willingly. The safest method to getting bats out is by sealing up the exterior of the house and using one-way valve devices to get the bats to exit. It’s true that bats are nocturnal and are active during the night. However, they won’t explode or drop dead when they are in sunlight. They simply keep flying or doing other “bat” things. Bats are nocturnal because it’s a better time to feed and it’s safer. If you’re looking into DIY bat removal, leaving the attic lights on won’t work.
Bats Only Live In the Attic – Myth
I’ve had many calls about bats in basements, bedrooms, bathrooms, and even washing machines. How did they end up there? Bats are much more invasive than you may think! Did you know that bats can fit through dime-sized openings? That means it doesn’t take much for a bat to find a way into your home. Bats must enter the house high up along the roofline. The reason for that is because bats need to drop into flight. Bats cannot take flight from the ground.
Once bats move into an attic, they can burrow in insulation for a safer, warmer place to roost. As the weather changes it can get too hot or cold in the attic area and the bats will travel to a more comfortable location. Often the bats will end up finding their way down the wall cavities and into an unfinished basement area. When bats are in a basement flying, they can work their way to living quarters. Some other strange places people have found bats are in toilets or washing machines. The reason people find bats int those areas is because bats are thirsty and looking for water. IF the bat accidentally falls into the water or gets trapped, it cannot climb the smooth edges to get out.
All Bats Migrate in Winter – Myth
Imagine flying south to warm, summery weather instead of staying in a place where when you walk outside the cold hurts your face. Some bats are smart and leave; other bats will hibernate in houses, other structures, caves, etc. over the winter. Bats will begin looking for shelters to roost in when the weather starts to cool off. As the weather cools, the number of insects decreases and bats don’t need to come out to feed. Bats will hibernate in a shelter until spring. There is nothing that can be done to get bats to leave a home during the hibernation season. The safest method to exclude bats involves the bats leaving with their feeding cycle. We can get things in place so the bats will leave sooner in the spring!
Why Do Bats Come into Houses?
Why Do Bats Come into Houses? Having a bat colony in your house does not mean you asked for it. You probably didn’t do anything to invite them into the house, but bats will still come into the house. Bats come into houses for the simplest reason, safety. Instead of living constantly exposed to weather and predators, they can conveniently find a way to come into a house. Would you rather live in a hollow tree or an attic? Sure, an attic is not really our ideal living space, but it is far better than a tree outside. The bats think the same way, and that is why bats come into houses.
Bats come into your house simply because it is a nice home to be in. It is temperature-controlled, has a dark and safe place to sleep, and because there are spaces the bats can get in. No one asks for a bat colony to move into their home. If a bat can find an area to enter your home for shelter, it will take advantage of the opportunity. Bats need food, water, and shelter to survive just like us. Instead of living in a chilly cave they prefer a safe, heated house. Usually, a bat colony is only noticed when a lone bat loses its way and finds itself flying loose in living quarters.
Bats in the Summer
Has a bat ever come into your house during the summer? Having a bat flying in the house can be a sign there is a bat colony living in the structure. Bats are colonial animals and when there is one, there are generally more. Bats come into our houses for a few different reasons. The main reason bats like to come into houses is safety. In the summer, bats that are living in the structure will search for the coolest area in the home. Since bats are so active in the summer, they are constantly moving during the night and sometimes during the day. Luckily in the summer, most people have the air conditioning on in their houses. Bats will be searching or a cooler area in the house.
As the bat is searching for a cool area to rest, it can find its way into living quarters. Typically, the bat will search and fly to the room with the air conditioner. Another reason a bat will come into living quarters is in search of water. Some people have been shocked to find a bat dead in their toilet. As the bat swoops down to get a drink of the toilet water, the bat gets trapped in the bowl and unfortunately dies. Bats prefer cool, damp areas to rest in. It is not uncommon to find bats in your basement during the summer. Even in finished basements, usually, the utility room area is unfinished which allows bats to enter from the walls. Bats come into houses in the summer for the shelter, cool air, and quiet. But, where do bats go in the winter?
Bats in the Winter
During the winter, the bats come into houses for a different reason. Bats actually hibernate through the winter, just like bears do! Except bats are much smaller so they need somewhere a little warmer to roost, our houses. Bats will roost in colonies because the body heat keeps them warm. Because the bats hibernate during the winter, they will need to find a structure to roost in. Bats will begin fattening up for winter and looking for a winter roost in late September into October. The bats will hibernate in the structure from October until March or April. During those months, the bat will not be entering and leaving the structure.
There is nothing that can be done to get rid of the bats during the winter. They must stay in the structure until Spring because they are federally protected. The bats may wake up in the winter and move about in the walls of the home. Fluctuating weather or harsh cold will cause the bats to wake up during hibernation. Hibernation is weather dependent. When the cold weather leaves and the warm weather moves in the bats will begin waking up. The temperature will need to be warm enough for the bats to come out to drink and feed. So that bump in the wall you hear at night may just be a bat looking for its way back up and out, but how do you confirm bats have come into your house?
Do I have Bats or Mice?
People tend to confuse bat infestations for other pests. When someone goes into their attic to inspect, they may see some droppings. Right away, the most common thought is mice. People think they are finding mouse droppings or hearing mice in the walls at night. Bats and mice are very similar sounding in the walls with the squeaky, screechy sounds and the scratching. After suspecting mice in the attic, the next step is mouse traps. Sticky mouse traps are great inventions, but sometimes they catch more than just mice. We get many phone calls from people finding a bat stuck to the mousetrap. That is one for sure and easy way to confirm bat activity in a house!
Bats infestations can be difficult to diagnose because they hide in the attic. Once the bats enter the home and gain access into the attic, the bats will burrow behind the insulation. Once they are behind the insulation, they can use the internal wall cavity to travel throughout the house. If you’ve ever had a bat in the basement, that is most likely how the bat got down to that level. Bats are primarily active at night. Listen for any high pitch screeching sounds or scratching in the walls if you suspect a bat infestation. The next step after confirming that bats have come into the house is to call professional bat removal experts.
Bats come into houses for shelter, protection, and heat. Seasonal weather changes also cause bats to come into houses. Bats choose to come into houses for shelter because of how well built they are. Houses provide the most protection from predators while also providing a dark quiet place to rest. Bats moving into the house is much easier than getting rid of the bats. The bats will not willingly leave the roost. If it is safe and the bats are comfortable, they will need to be safely removed. If you have a bat colony living in your house, or even suspect a colony, call professionals to assess the situation. Bat removal work is seasonal, just like the bats. In the winter, the bats cannot be removed from the structure.
Unfortunately, the homeowner will have to live with bats until the Spring when hibernation ends. It does not matter if you house is brand new or older. If there is any area a bat can fit through and come into the house, the bat will squeeze through and move on in. In the wild, bats live in places like caves or hollow trees. While they can survive in those settings, finding shelter like a human house is ideal. Would you rather sleep in a cave or an attic? The choice is simple for bats, the attic isn’t too bad of a place to stay. Bats are messy guests to have and can cause a great extent of damage. Do not think you have to live with bats, call professionals who can get rid of the bats safely and back into the environment.
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Are Bats Dangerous in the House?
Are bats dangerous? Yes, but then again most wild animals are. Are bats dangerous in the house? Yes, of course! Bats may be small animals, but they can bring big messes and big health hazards. Bats are dangerous because of the health risks they pose to humans. The most well-known danger about bats is the disease rabies. While bats are a carrier of the rabies disease, not every bat has rabies. The only for sure way to confirm if a bat has rabies is to send it in for testing. Another thing that makes bats dangerous in the house is the mess they make inside. If there is a bat colony living in your house, there is going to be guano in the attic area. Guano, bat feces, contains fungal spores that when inhaled can cause a disease called histoplasmosis.
The longer the bats are inside the house, the larger the mess grows, and the more fungal spores are produced. Bats are incredibly difficult to get rid of. With the help of professional bat removal experts, getting rid of bats can be done safely and properly. A lot of people think that bats attack humans. Bats do not maliciously attack humans.
The only time a bat really scratches or bites a human is when the bat is trapped and defending itself. But, can you blame the poor little thing? The bat’s teeth and claws are the only weapons the bat has to protect itself. Bats are not dangerously aggressive, they are more scared than you may think. When a bat is loose inside a house and seems to be flying crazily, it is in search of an exit to get out and away from you! Kind of makes you think, just how dangerous are bats?
Do Bats Have Rabies?
Bats have rabies, but not all bats have rabies. Only about 2% of the entire bat population is carrying the disease. That does not mean you should not treat bats as if they are safe. If you find a bat in your house, do not touch the bat barehanded. A single bite from a bat is all that is needed to transfer the rabies disease. Having bats in your house is never safe. The bats must be removed safely by professionals. The only way to verify if a bat has rabies is by sending the bat off for testing so they can test brain tissue samples.
Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. Rabies can be treated if the infected person seeks medical attention immediately. The treatment for rabies consists of a series of shots of vaccines. It is not like the old horror stories of having 50 huge needles being stabbed into your stomach.
That’s How They Do It?
Instead, there is a series of four shots given within two weeks of being exposed to the disease. It is important to treat each bat as if it is infected because rabies is still a deadly disease. If the disease is not caught in time and symptoms set in, then it is too late for the treatment and the disease is almost always fatal at that point. Even though only a small percentage of bats carry the disease, there is no obvious way to tell if a bat has rabies.
It is not like the bat will be foaming at the mouth. Plus, the cost of the rabies vaccine is crazy expensive! Some prices we have heard from those who have gone through treatment have ranged from $8,000 to $13,000 per person! Professionals can get rid of the bats in the house for much less than that! Instead of going through the expensive and stressful process of rabies treatment, call professionals to help you get rid of the bats in your house.
What is worse than just bats? The mess they leave behind contains health risks of its own. Bats eat and drink on a nightly basis, then they return to their roost. Well, after gorging on mosquitoes and drinking enough water, the bat will have to go to the bathroom. Now, bats do not poop where they sleep. They kind of have a designated area for bathroom breaks. Over time, the amount of bat poop will increase.
As time goes on the colony grows and more and more bats are creating a mess. Mounds and piles of guano can be found in attics if the colony has been there long enough. Bat guano should be treated as if it is hazardous waste. Do not attempt to clean or remove the guano from your attic without professional help. There are fungal spores within the fecal matter than can cause the disease histoplasmosis in humans.
Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that can be fatal to those with a weaker or compromised immune system. The best way to avoid coming in contact with this disease is by calling professional bat removal experts to get rid of the bats first. The bats will need to be removed from the house before cleaning up. Once the bats have been removed from the house, the professionals will remove safely remove the guano and sanitize the attic space. That will eliminate the fungal spores that are responsible for transferring the disease. Depending on the extent of the damage the bats have caused, a full attic restoration may be needed. Full attic restoration is removing soiled insulation, cleaning, sanitizing, and reinstalling clean, new insulation. It is a messy job, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Bats are dangerous in the house or outside. There are dangers with all wild animals and bats are no different. Bats are capable of carrying diseases that are transferrable to humans, and the best way to avoid those diseases is to avoid bats. If you think a bat colony may have moved into your house, the best way to get rid of bats without risking your safety is by calling bat removal experts. Do not attempt to handle barehanded because you will expose yourself to the risk of contracting rabies. It only takes one bite from one infected bat to contract the disease.
You cannot tell if a bat has rabies by just looking at it. If a bat does bite or scratch, you always seek medical attention. It might be a small chance, but there is still a chance you have been exposed to rabies and will need immediate treatment. Bats are small and fragile animals, but bats are dangerous. They do not mean to harm us, but that does not mean that we should be sharing homes. Bats leave behind a hazardous mess once they do leave. The fungal spores in guano can affect your health. Avoid respiratory diseases like histoplasmosis by calling professionals to safely get rid of the bats and their feces. Bats have wings that can take them anywhere, they do not have to move into your home.
Bat Exclusion Methods—How to get rid of bats?
Bat Exclusion Methods—How to get rid of bats? Bats are federally protected animals, so to get rid of bats, you should call professionals. Bats are endangered, so getting rid of them safely is of our utmost priority. To start, NO chemicals should ever be used to try and get rid of bats from your home. Chemicals can kill bats, which is illegal! Never try to seal your house up to keep the bats from getting back in—they’re in there all the time, day and night.
If you try to seal up their exits, you will not get rid of the bats. Instead, the bats will begin searching for a new exit. Finally, don’t go and find your trusty tennis racket when you have a bat loose in your home. Start by opening windows and doors to help the bat find its way out. Keep in mind one of those options will completely get rid of bats; the only way is to call professionals.
Do I Have Bats?
Have you ever heard a scratching sound coming from the walls or ceiling? Was it accompanied by a high pitch screech sound? Perhaps you hear shuffling in the walls during the night? If you hear any of these sounds, there may be a bat colony is living inside. Getting rid of bats is not an overnight job. It takes time to get rid of bats, and it can be a pricey home maintenance project.
If bat proofing-bat removal is a service that you are going to be investing in, do your research and make sure you are choosing the best company. There has been an increase in scam companies that charge dirt cheap prices. They offer those low prices because they provide no warranty, have no experience, and will end up doing the job incorrectly, or they do nothing at all. The only safe way to get rid of bats is to call professionals who will locate and seal entry points and provide an exit for the bats to use to leave the structure that prevents them from re-entering. It sounds complicated, but we will explain it below.
Get Rid of Bats the Right Way
Finding out you have a bat colony living in your home can be quite the whirlwind of a situation. From knowing nothing about bats to googling, “How to get rid of bats?” “Do bats attack humans?” “How to get rid of bats in my house?” Reading page after page of new information, scouring the internet for any information that may calm your mind. It can be overwhelming! Choosing the right bat removal company can be a challenge, as well.
We can give you some tips on how to choose the right company for you. We’re going to simplify the bat exclusion method we use while also talking about other methods that other companies try. When dealing with bat removal, there is the right way to do it, or there is the wrong way. After ten years of removing bats, we think we have perfected how to get rid of bats safely.
Step-by-Step Bat Exclusion Methods—How to get rid of bats
- Make the Call–Contact a professional bat removal company.
- Schedule your appointment—Set up a bat exclusion appointment.
- Arrival of Technician–Greeting/Introduction
- Exterior Survey–After the technician arrives and introduces him/herself, the technician will begin by surveying the exterior of the home for visible signs of bat entry points.
- Interior Survey–Following the exterior survey, the technician will also survey the interior attic area. The technicians survey the attic area to confirm there is evidence of a bat colony living inside the structure as well as to see the amount of damage the bats have caused.
- Attic Restoration Information–As the technician is in the attic, he/she will inspect the extent of the damage the bats have caused. (We do NOT include restoration or cleanup of guano in our bat exclusion service.)
- Because the extent of damage from bats can vary significantly from home to home, the technician quotes the attic restoration/clean up as he is completing the interior survey. We cannot quote Attic Restorations over the phone.
- Sealing the Property—After confirming there is a bat colony living inside the house, the technician proceeds with sealing the house. Sealing a home is tedious and time-consuming work. Since bats can enter through areas as small as a dime, the technician must locate and seal all those areas. A professionally trained technician will identify and seal all primary and secondary bat entry points. Some of the areas a technician will specifically look at are dormers, venting of any kind, rooflines, soffits, siding, chimney, and fascia. Technicians should use 100% Grade A Clear Silicone Caulk, so there are no discrepancies on the exterior of the house. Other companies may use spray foam, which can drastically alter the appearance of the home.
- Custom Exclusion Devices--The technicians also custom make exclusion devices. Each device is custom made to fit into specific locations that the bats use to exit and enter the home. The custom-made exclusion devices are made of galvanized steel mesh and are much smaller than other devices offered. The larger white cones that you can purchase offline are bulky and do not fit well into the locations that need a device. The one-way exclusion devices are what the bats will use to leave home, and they will not be able to re-enter the house through the device.
- Removal Process—After the technician has completed sealing the home and installing the exclusion devices, everything is in place for the bats to use. When the bats wake up at night to feed, they will make their way to the exit point. We install an exclusion device in that location, so when the bats crawl out, they can no longer re-enter the house. The exclusion devices are a one-way valve system that allows the bats to leave home, but they are not able to get back inside. The bats safely re-enter the environment and are free to keep contributing to the environment!
- Warranty—After getting rid of the bats, the bat removal company should guarantee their work with a warranty. If a bat removal company does not have a warranty, save your money and make another call. Companies that do not warranty their work are not confident the job was done correctly. The most common warranties offered are one year, three years, or five years. The most extended warranty currently offered is a 10-year warranty. Always ask how long the company has been in business to make sure they can back up the guarantee.
The Wrong Way to Bat Proof
Now that we’ve talked about the proper bat exclusion methods—how to get rid of bats, let’s talk about the wrong ways. One bat exclusion method that has been attempted is waiting for all the bats to leave at night and sealing shut the areas the bats have flown out of. The reason this method is wrong is because all it does is trap bats inside the house. The primary entry points are now sealed, and the bats that are still inside the structure are stuck inside.
Sealing the bats inside results in the bats searching for a new exit and finding their way into the living quarters! Attempting any natural bat exclusion methods will be ineffective and potentially dangerous. Mothballs (illegal to use on bats), peppermint oil, mint, cinnamon, or dryer sheets will not cause a bat colony to evacuate the house. However, it does make quite a mess! The last bat exclusion method that has been attempted that is a wrong way is a homeowner trying a Do It Yourself bat removal. Bat exclusion is something that should be left for only the trained professionals.
Do Bats Have Rabies?
Do bats have rabies? Yes. Do ALL bats have rabies? No. Only about two percent of the bat population actually carries rabies. Now, that does not mean rabies is any less dangerous of a disease. If you are ever exposed to a bat scratch or bite, it is best to contact a medical care provider for proper examination and treatment. Even if you wake up to a bat in your bedroom, it is still safest to contact your medical care provider in case the bat scratched or bit you while you were asleep.
Not every case of rabies entails an animal foaming at the mouth with extreme aggression. That can be the case, but other times only by testing the animal can that be determined. The risk of contracting rabies through a bat is low but still possible. Other animals that are capable of contracting and transferring rabies to humans are coyotes, cows, goats, skunks, foxes, dogs, horses, and raccoons. Rabies can be treated if caught in time, so do not wait to go in if you think you have been exposed to the disease. So, what is rabies? Why is it so deadly?
What Is Rabies?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, rabies is a viral infection that infects the central nervous system. Rabies is usually transferred by the bite, or saliva, of the infected mammal. The Center for Disease Control website lists these symptoms of rabies to watch for: insomnia, anxiety, confusion, paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia. It is vital to seek treatment after being exposed to rabies disease. While there is a rabies vaccine, it is only effective before symptoms appear. The vaccine itself is not cheap. Rabies shots prices can vary from $8,000 to $13,000 per person for treatment.
A bat removal service is much less expensive and will eliminate the risk of rabies from the home. Nearly everyone has heard about the old rabies vaccinations involving numerous painful injections in the stomach from large needles. Thanks to medical advancements, that is no longer the procedure. Generally, the rabies vaccination consists of four doses of the medication, which means only four shots are needed. The first shot is given on the day you are exposed to the disease. After the first shot, you will return three days later for the second dosage of the vaccine. The third dose is given on the seventh day, one week, after the exposure to the disease. The final dose of the rabies vaccine is given on the fourteenth day after exposure.
If the vaccine is administered before the onset of symptoms, the disease should be easily prevented by the medication. If symptoms set in before you seek treatment, the chance of the disease becoming fatal is extremely high. Rabies is an incredibly dangerous disease and should be taken seriously if there is ever a chance you have been exposed to it.
Bats and Rabies
Keep in mind that bats do not intentionally seek to attack humans. Bats will not go out of their way to bite and attack you. A bat will only bite out of self-defense if it is cornered and scared. Simply having a bat flying around in the house does not mean you have rabies. A human must be bitten or be exposed to the saliva of an infected bat to contract the disease. That is why if you ever wake up to a bat in your bedroom, you should contact your health care professional.
Bats can bite so gently that it will not always wake you up from sleeping. One way to easily avoid encountering a bat bite is to never handle a bat barehanded. Thick leather gloves work best because the bat’s small teeth and claws will not go through the leather material. The leather will protect you from contracting rabies.
Reduce The Threat
The best way to eliminate the threat of rabies from bats in your home is to have the bat colony from your home removed. If you have found or captured a deceased bat inside your home, you can send it off to be tested for rabies. There are a few different places that will accept and test the bat. The first place to contact about testing bats for rabies is your state’s Department of Health office. Once you contact them, they should have an address that you can bring or even send the bat to.
Some State Universities have veterinarian programs that will accept and test bats for rabies as well. There should be a form that you can print, fill out, and send with the bat. A small fee may also be charged for the testing. Depending on the results of the test, the bat will be handled properly. To eliminate the chance of contracting rabies from bats, the bat colony should be excluded from the home. The only way to get rid of bats safely and properly is by calling professional bat removal experts.
Other Bat Diseases
Rabies is not the only disease dangerous to humans that bats can pass along. The bat feces, guano, is full of fungal spores that when inhaled can cause Histoplasmosis. As stated on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, the fungus Histoplasma is responsible for causing the respiratory disease. Histoplasma is found primarily in bat feces but can also be found in bird feces.
As the bats live in your house, they will defecate and urinate in the attic area. Over time the amount of guano will pile up and fungal spores will form throughout. Those fungal spores, when inhaled, can cause the respiratory disease histoplasmosis. Some common symptoms of histoplasmosis are fever, cough, and fatigue. Histoplasmosis can be treated with antifungal medication prescribed by a doctor. Those with weaker immune symptoms have a higher risk of the disease becoming severe and possibly fatal if left untreated. Bats may be small, but they carry huge risks when they live in a human house. Granted, they do not mean us any harm. Getting rid of bats can be done humanely and be safe for the bats, but only if you call professionals.
Rabies is a deadly disease. Do bats have rabies? Yes, but not all of them do. Don’t be the person who thinks it can’t happen to them. The percentage of bats that carries rabies is low, but it only takes one infected bat to transfer the disease. Having a colony of bats inside your house is only inviting the chance of the disease being present in your house. Bats are wonderful creatures, but they can cause unintentional harm. Sharing your house with bats is never a good option, so make the right choice to protect you and your family before an incident. It is better to be safe than it is to be sorry especially when dealing with bats.
Bats and Bat Houses
Bats are extremely beneficial animals to our environment. Insect control is just one of the many valuable contribution’s bats provide for us. A single brown bat can eat over 1000 insects an hour! Bats typically eat flying insects like mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. Could you imagine the number of mosquitoes there would be if there were no bats to eat them? That alone should persuade people to protect these animals and to get rid of bats safely. But what about bats and bat houses?
However, bats do not just eat mosquitoes. Bats also eat the insects that terrorize crops which helps the farmers. Which means the bats contribute to pollinating plants for the environment. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. Bats are amazing creatures that belong outside. Often, bats will move into a human home for shelter. Sharing your home with bats is dangerous, but how do you get rid of the bats in your house? Where will the bats go when they leave? There is the controversial solution of installing bat houses to deter bats.
Bat Houses —Do They Work?
After learning about how beneficial bats are, it’s time to learn about where bats go during the day. Bats are nocturnal which means they are awake primarily during the night. During the day, bats rest and wait for another active night of feeding. But where do the bats go? People have attempted to provide bats with a safe living setting known as a bat house. A bat house is typically a two-foot-tall by one-foot wide wooden box with chambers built inside used to house bats.
Bat houses can be ordered online or made at home. Building a bat house gives you more opportunity to create exactly the type of bat house you want. Do bat houses work? This has been a controversial and highly debatable subject within the bat removal community. Some bat removal experts say the bat houses will deter the bats from living in human houses because they will have adequate space with a bat house. Other bat removal experts argue that bat houses invite bats to live too close to human houses which a bat will prefer to live in.
From our experiences with bat houses, we have found that it only attracts bats to human houses. It really comes down to survival instincts. Would you rather live in a small unheated box usually attached to a tree in the middle of the predators, or live in a secluded attic setting where predators cannot follow you inside and is heated? A bat will not willingly choose a bat house over a house. There is not an effective way to attract bats to a bat house either. The only way to attract bats is with insects (food source) and stable water supply. It’s up to the bats to decide whether they will move into the bat house.
Types of Bat Houses
The three most common types of bat houses are a single chamber, four-chamber, or rocket box. There has long been speculation about which bat house works best. There is no conclusive answer because it depends more on the environment and setting than the design of the bat house. The only evidence that supports bats choosing a certain bat house over another is the color of the house. In colder climate areas, bats prefer a darker bat house. The darker color will absorb more heat for the bats living inside.
A lighter-colored bat house is favored in areas with a warmer climate. A single chamber bat house is a simpler style of bat houses. The main issue with single chamber bat houses is the inconsistent and fluctuating temperature. A four-chamber bat house means there are four areas inside the bat house the bats can use to roost. The last type of bat house, the rocket box, is the most unique. It is a tall narrow bat house, and the inside looks like boxed stacked inside each other. The space between these stacks allows space for bats to roost.
The price bat houses can range from $15.00 to $200.00 or more. Remember to take into consideration the climate, location, and color of the bat house before purchasing. Then, you just need to find somewhere to put it.
Where Do You Put a Bat House
If you choose to install a bat house, there are some locations that are safer for bats than others. The first-place people tend to think a bat house goes is on a tree. While bats do live trees naturally, installing the bat house on the base of the tree will not suffice. Bats live inside hollow trees higher up off the ground. If the bat house is installed on a tree, the shade the tree provides causes the temperature inside the bat house to fluctuate. Therefore, the bats will not like unstable temperatures.
If attempting to install a bat house on a tree, make sure to install it on the South facing side of the tree to get as much direct sun as possible. A bat house should be installed 10 feet or higher off the ground to keep them away from predators. Another popular location people install bat houses is on the exterior of their own house. There are some issues that come along with that installation location. Guano, or bat poop, will accumulate outside of the bat house. Bats do not poop where they sleep, so if they are utilizing the bat house there will be a mess left behind to clean up daily.
The biggest concern with installing a bat house on a human house is that can invite the bats to move into your own house. A bat will sense the human house is a safer, more stable environment than the bat house is. The most recommended area, however, is on the South facing side of exterior buildings such as barns. Installing a bat house will not guarantee bats will move in. A bat will ultimately choose the location it feels the safest and comfortable in. There is a chance bats will move into the bat house, but do not be discouraged if they do not.
Why Bat Houses Do Not Work
Bat houses are an amazing way to try and give the bats shelter to safely live in. However, not many bats will willingly choose to live in bat houses. Approximately 30% of bat houses are successful in hosting a colony of bats. Places that are prone to more cold or harsh winters will have fewer success rates as areas that are generally warmer year-round. Bat houses can be ineffective because bats simply choose not to live in them. The bat does not feel safe in that setting and will seek better shelter. Usually, the bat will find its way to the nearest human home and make its way inside.
A human house has tiny entrance areas high enough no predators can follow the bat inside. A human house also has heat, which attracts bats even more. Finding a temperature-controlled structure is the jackpot for a bat colony! There are numerous places for a bat to hide within the house as well, which offers another form of protection for the bats. Bat houses do not work because the bat does not feel as safe in the bat house as in a human house. Basically, bat houses are a great idea but are not as effective as we hope.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Bat Removal?
After years of performing bat removal services, our customers ask, “Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Bat Removal?” many times. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover bat removal. Bat removal-bat proofing is the responsibility of the homeowner. The reason insurance companies will not cover the bat removal-bat proofing is because the infestation is a general maintenance issue (in the eyes of the all-mighty Insurance companies, anyway). Usually what the insurance company means by that is there is preexisting holes, gaps, or other areas the bats are using to get in. You, the homeowner, are responsible for remedying those minor maintenance issues.
However, everyone’s policy is different, so it is best to consult your insurance company. Most commonly, the homeowner’s insurance will cover the attic restoration or cleanup of the attic once you remove the bats. The attic restoration can end up costing much more than the bat proofing, depending on the extent of the damage. Again, this is just from our personal experience with this issue. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about your specific policy.
Adulting 101- Homeowner’s Insurance
Insurance can be a confusing subject because of the terminology and the amount of overwhelming information thrown at you in a short amount of time. Homeowners insurance is no exception to the mind-boggling issue of coverage. Which policy do you choose? What is all covered? What is the price? Which insurance company do you pick? Numerous companies offer homeowners insurance. There are general policies to choose from that have you covered against things like weather-related damage or fire.
Depending on the company, they may offer individual coverage insurance such as flood or earthquakes because general policies do not cover natural disasters like that. Unfortunately, bat removal is a disaster that is not covered under any general homeowner’s insurance policy. Nor is there individual insurance which you can purchase for it. We will get into the details why bat removal is not covered by homeowner’s insurance next.
Homeowner’s Insurance VS. Bat Removal
Why won’t homeowner’s insurance cover bat removal costs? Insurance companies see bat infestations as a “general maintenance issue.” Because bats can enter through dime-sized spaces that can form as a house settles, the insurance company will tell you to fix those issues yourself. What the insurance company doesn’t understand is how tedious that is! The problem with homeowners taking care of bat removal themselves is typically they do not know where or how to seal bat entry points properly. The worst thing a homeowner could do is trying to fix or seal up areas him/herself.
Do not seal the bats inside the home! Going out at night and sealing the areas you may see bats flying out is only going to lock the other bats inside the house. Locking the bats inside will only lead to them entering the living quarters or even worse the bats will die within the walls. In time those dead bats will start to smell, and that gets to be a more intricate bat removal project. Homeowners might not know where to look for bat entry points — for example, venting on the house that doesn’t have appropriate screens, damaged siding, or a crumbling chimney. Also, bad soffits and damaged shingles can provide access points for bats.
It’s best to hire professionals to ensure the sealing is done the first time correctly. Bat removal is not a very cheap service, but it is not the most expensive, either. Homeowners insurance may not cover the bat removal-bat proofing, but some do cover the cleanup costs after you remove the colony. We will talk about attic restoration, prices, and coverage next.
Homeowners Insurance VS Attic Restoration
Bats are troublesome little pests to remove. The bat colony will not leave on its own. Professionals must be called to get rid of the bats safely and adequately. Hiring professionals is the only way to ensure you remove the bats permanently. After those bats are kicked out, there is usually a big stinky mess left behind. The damage bats cause in an attic depends on the size of the colony.
Additionally, the amount of time the colony has been in the structure can make a big difference. The amount of guano can range from being scattered across the attic, to mounds of bat feces that have built up over time. Scattered guano can be cleaned up relatively quickly by professionals.
A large bat colony or well-established colony can cause such an immense amount of damage a full attic restoration will be needed. A full attic restoration consists of removal of soiled insulation, removing the guano, sanitizing the attic, and re-installing the customers choice of insulation. Attic Restoration is generally a much more expensive service than the bat removal-bat proofing service. Homeowners insurance covers the restoration because it is accidental physical damage, which is usually included in a homeowner’s policy. The worst thing about bat waste, besides the smell, is the diseases it can carry.
You should treat and dispose of bat guano the same way as you would hazardous waste. Do not try to clean bat waste yourself. It contains fungal spores that when inhaled can cause respiratory disease, histoplasmosis. Bat feces, or guano, looks very similar to mouse droppings. The best and grossest, way to distinguish the difference is to wear a mask and put on latex gloves, then crush some of the excrement between your fingers. Hold the sample in the light and look for reflective pieces.
The reflective material found in the bat guano is insect wings, which confirms bats. Mice do not eat flying insects. Therefore there will be no remnants left behind. Location of the feces is also a telltale sign. If the feces seems to be along the walls its most likely mice, bat guano can be scattered throughout the attic or in piles. Bat guano is dangerous enough that you should treat it as if you are disposing of hazardous waste. Masks and safety suits should be worn to prevent the inhalation of the fungal spores. If the extent of the damage in the attic is too great, a full restoration will be needed as we talked about above.
To simplify this all down, because insurance can be quite confusing: Homeowners insurance does NOT pay for bat removal-bat proofing services. Bat infestations are a general maintenance issue. You, the homeowner, are responsible for removing the bats. Remember, the only way to remove bats correctly is hiring professionals. Once you completely remove the bats, the homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of the attic restoration or cleanup of bat feces. The bats can cause a large amount of accidental physical damage to your home.
Most homeowner’s insurance general policies cover accidental physical damage done to a home. Everyone’s policy is different, so be sure to ask about your specific policy. If you are still unsure, it’s best to contact your insurance agent (policyholder) to discuss further.