Do you have a bat-infested belfry? What is a belfry? And do I want bats in it? We at Central Plains Bat Removal are positively batty for bats, and we’ve heard all the jokes. We also know quite a bit about actual bats that may get in your belfry, or attic, or eaves, or chimney.
We’ve gathered some fun facts about bats in your belfry as well as some tips for how to prevent a bat infestation in the first place.
What Are Bats In Your Belfry?
Literally or metaphorically, you mean? The phrase has two meanings, one derived from another.
A belfry if an enclosure on top of a roof or steeple that encloses … a bell. Because it’s the highest point on church or building, and because belfries have slats or openings so the bell tones can ring across a town, belfries often became places where bats were seen roosting or flying around.
By extension, a belfry also means the head or the mind. You can see how this might have developed, linguistically. The belfry is at the top, or the highest point, of the building, while the head is the highest point on the body. Our thoughts become like the bell peals, ringing out from the head and mouth.
If a human has bats in their belfry, it means they are confused or loopy or very eccentric. The bats are interfering with their thoughts and words, perhaps, or it’s a reference to being the “odd” belfry, the one with the bats.
Anyway, a bat-infested home can make you feel like you have bats in your belfry, especially if they are evading your attempts to get them to move elsewhere. Perhaps getting rid of your literal bats will restore your mental equilibrium as well as your peace of mind. Let’s look at how to prevent a bat infestation.
How Do I Know If I Have a Bat Infestation?
Usually, you know you have bats in your belfry, or attic, or eaves, because you can see and smell the guano, or bat droppings. If you spot something that looks like shiny rodent droppings (due to the ingestion of insect wings) in a pile or cluster, you have a good idea of how and where the bats are getting into your building. Their entrance/exit point is nearby.
Other clues your home is bat infested may include:
- Milky white stains. Bat urine can appear on windows or around entry holes
- Odors. Bat urine and guano is pungent.
- Scratching and squeaking in walls or the attic, especially before dusk and dawn.
None of these sound wonderful, huh? If you’re battling a bat infestation, you might feel more than a little crazy.
How Do I Keep Bats Out?
Bats are small, and most can fit through openings as little as a ½ inch. If you have a gap in your fascia board or soffit, or between siding, you could be inviting bats to roost in your house.
A semi-annual inspection of your home (recommended during spring and fall) for any holes, gaps, or places where caulking or weatherstripping may have failed is an excellent way to prevent a bat-infested belfry.
Don’t underestimate bats’ determination to claim a new best place to roost. A loss of natural roosting habitats is driving bats into more populated areas. Bats are seeking the right physical conditions to get their daily naps and raise their families.
What If I Already Have a Bat Infestation?
Over time, a few roosting bats can turn into a sizable colony. You may not have paid attention to the first few residents. However, if you notice the telltale signs of a bat colony in your “belfry,” it’s time to call a professional.
Since bats are an endangered species, you can face stiff fines and even jail time if you exterminate them. You’ll want to use bat exclusion, a process to allow the bats to leave the home at night, but makes it impossible for them to get back into the house. Read our article about bat exclusion to learn more.
Additionally, there are restrictions about when bats can be excluded from your home. Your bat removal specialist will know these regulations and reproductive cycles.
Bats have a single pup in May-June. Baby bats that cannot fly will not be able to leave the roost with the others. The babies will subsequently starve to death if their parents cannot get back in due to the exclusion devices. Not only is this inhumane, but it also creates additional problems from the decomposing bat carcasses in the former roosting area.
Bat exclusion can only be done in early spring before the pups are born, or early fall, after they have learned to fly on their own and leave the roost with the others.
Once the first frost occurs, bats will be headed to a cave to hibernate for the winter. At that point, you can fix the entry/exit holes so when they try to return in the spring, they will find your home less-than-hospitable.
If you realize you have bats in your belfry during the summer months, and you need to wait until early fall to go through the exclusion process, all is not lost. Bats are quite helpful to your yard and gardens. They eat about 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour and feed on beetles that can harm crops. Some species of bats are fruit-eaters, and also pollinate plants and disperse seeds.
Contact the Bat Pros
At Central Plains Bat Removal, we are happy to guide you in determining if you have bats in your belfry and what to do about it. Please don’t try to do bat exclusion yourselves. Bats can carry histoplasmosis or rabies, a fungal and a viral infection that can be passed on to humans. Our pros will wear protective equipment and take precautions to ensure your family is safe.
We’ve removed bat infestations from attics, belfries, chimneys, eaves, crawl-spaces, and more. We are ready to help you if your home is bat-infested. Contact us, and soon the only bats in your belfry will be the metaphorical ones — and even those might leave with the colony. We’re batty for bats. They don’t spook us at all. We’ll take care of your bats and keep them from coming back.