Bats are mammals that have forelimbs that form webbed wings. This makes them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are present throughout most of the world, with exception of extremely cold regions. While bats help control the pest insect populations by consuming thousands of insects each night, they can cause problems when they come into contact with humans. The knowledgeable pest control technicians at Dave’s Pest Control are the experts when it comes to the prevention and removal of bats in residential homes and business.
Location & Behavior of Bats
The United States is home to an estimated 45 to 48 species of bats. The three most common are the little brown bat, the big brown bat and the Mexican free-tailed bat. The little and big brown bats are common throughout the northern two-thirds of the country, while the Mexican free-tailed bat is the most common species in the southwest. The fact they can fly make them the most widely distributed group of mammals. They require a relatively warm spot to roost and to spend the day. Roosts can be found in hollows, crevices, foliage, and even human-made structures, and include “tents” the bats construct by biting leaves. Bats are nocturnal and feed on flowers, small insects, fruits, nectar, pollen and leaves, though it depends on the type if bat.
What Diseases Do Bats Carry & Spread?
Bats can create quite a mess where they live. They usually make their home in an attic or wall void. Bat droppings, called guano, can damage materials and can also have an unacceptable pungent odor. These droppings can also lead to respiratory disease as the droppings contain microbes. Respiratory protection should be used when coming into contact with bats to avoid breathing the potentially harmful microbes. Bats can damage structures as they can chew building material and also make access holes bigger. Their urine can cause degradation of flooring, insulation and wood. The urine and droppings on the attic floor can seep into ceilings and living areas that can cause wood to become brittle.
Signs of a Bat Infestation Problem
Colonies of bats can become very large and they sleep all day, so how know if you have a problem? Bats will roost in high places like the attic but will, on occasion, make their way down a wall cavity or pipe into the house. You may actually discover one in your home. You will probably only hear them if they’re living in your walls and get disturbed by a slamming door or a loud noise. You may hear small squeaking noises or scratching sounds from them crawling at dusk and at dawn when waking or returning to roost. You may see their droppings around entrance points.
Bat Prevention & Removal from Attics & Houses
Social bats are probably the most concerning type of bat infestation since there can be well over 25 bats in a colony. This number sometimes exceeds a hundred of more! Bats should be treated with respect and extreme caution. Bats are known to carry the Rabies virus. All entry points will need to be located and sealed off. Exclusion methods will need to be set up, like one-way devices that allow them to leave and not get back in. These devices will be set up when the bats leave for the night.