As the weather gets cooler, many people discover that a variety of small animals, including mice, skunks, and bats try to take up residence in their homes.
While some of these animals can be quite cute, you likely don’t wish to share your home with them. They make noise, leave guano or droppings, and can introduce diseases or parasites. With the loss of many of their natural roosting sites, it is increasingly common to find bats roosting in human structures. So how do you get rid of bats most effectively?
You may be tempted to try a do-it-yourself solution, but bats are quite intelligent and will thwart amateur attempts to remove them. Extermination is illegal in many states, and the chemicals necessary to kill bats are also harmful to humans. Not to mention, bats roost in small spaces that aren’t easy to get to, especially at night when you need to find their entrance and exit points. A trained bat removal specialist like Central Plains will come to your home, inspect the situation, and locate the places where bats are gaining access to your home. We then recommend an exclusion plan to safely and humanely remove the bats and make sure they do not return.
What is Bat Exclusion?
Bat exclusion is a method of enticing bats to leave a structure, then placing a device over their main entrance so that they cannot get back in. Bat exclusion happens in three phases:
- Observation. The removal specialist discovers the places that bats enter or exit the structure. They look for visible evidence, such as seeing a bat leave, other evidence such as guano (droppings or feces), and holes that are large enough for bats to enter and exit.
- Repair. The bat removal specialist seals or covers all holes that a bat could use to gain entrance to the structure, except for the largest one.
- Exclusion. The bat removal specialist, working at night after most bats have exited for the evening, places a custom-made funnel-shaped bat exclusion device over the final access point so that bats may exit the building, but cannot re-enter. Bats remain safe as they exit through a one-way valve but cannot fly or crawl back in after the flap closes. This method forces the colony to find another residence. In many cases, bat removal specialists help construct and install a bat box elsewhere on the property to provide a healthy place for the bats to roost while keeping your home bat-free.
5 Reasons to Exclude Instead of Exterminate
- It’s more humane. Excluding bats from your home allows them to live, assuming they can find another habitat. Bats typically live 25 to 40 years, but more than half of all North American bats are threatened, rare, or endangered. Bat populations are in rapid decline, and white-nose disease has decimated many colonies. Bats are an essential part of the ecosystem and eat thousands of insects that can harm us and our crops. Exclusion removes them from your home and keeps them out, but it does not kill them.
- It’s more effective long-term. Killing the bats in your home doesn’t solve the problem of how and why bats chose to live in your home in the first place. Their natural habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Flooding and chemicals from mining are making caves uninhabitable for bats, and the loss of old trees with peeling bark or holes are leading to further habitat decline. If you get rid of one group of bats, it is quite likely that another bat colony will take up residence shortly after. “Catch-and-release” programs also have this problem. Bats are very intelligent, and some have been known to fly as far as 400 miles to return to a location. Catching the bats and transporting them to an alternate site may seem like a good idea, but it doesn’t work well in the long run. They’ll be back.
- It’s healthier for you and your family. First of all, there are no legal chemicals or poisons in the United States designed to kill bats. People sometimes resort to other toxins, such as rat poison, but since most bats in North America eat flying insects, they aren’t interested in eating pellets. Other animals, including your pets, might be curious though. Fumigating sprays and chemicals used to kill bats are also harmful to humans and pets. Fumes linger for a long time and travel through your home’s heating/cooling duct system. You’ll have to fumigate multiple times to kill all the bats in a colony. Spraying toxic fumes into your attic and cleaning up hundreds of contaminated carcasses or leaving them to rot in your home isn’t a healthy solution.
- It’s legal and ecologically preferred. In many states, it’s illegal to kill bats as they are a protected species. There also are restrictions on when bats can be excluded from structures. One example is during bat maternity season, usually April through August. To remain within the laws in your area, and to help maintain a sustainable and healthy ecosystem, it is much better to call a professional bat removal specialist who will take care of your bat problem humanely, legally, and effectively.
- It’s cost-effective. Bat exclusion devices require inexpensive materials such as screen and PVC pipe. Bat exclusion will not only get rid of your bats but also help you correct other problems in your home. Bats get in due to cracks, improper ventilation covers, rotting or corroded areas, storm damage, or seals that have cracked and become damaged over time. Your bat removal specialist will discover these areas, and make or recommend the repairs to keep critters from coming into your home in the future. In addition, sealing windows, eaves, crawl spaces, chimneys, and other problem areas will make your home more airtight and watertight, improving your home with energy efficiency and protecting it from water damage and mold growth.
When you remove the bats from your home, you may wish to consider setting up a bat box or bat house nearby. This option gives the bats a place to go after you evict them. As mentioned above, bat habitats are critically endangered, but bats are an essential part of our fragile ecosystem. Bats around your house will eat many of the insects you consider a nuisance. Your Central Plains Bat Removal specialist can help you with this humane and ecologically friendly option.