Though, bats are an unusual problem to have, if you do get them in your home or business, you will suddenly find that getting the issue resolved is anything but simple or cheap. They can enter any gap in the exterior of a building about half an inch wide, sometimes even smaller. Bats CANNOT be exterminated and must be removed from a structure by an exclusion process that doesn’t harm them. The structure must be “bat-proof,” or they will move to the next gap. Consult with a specialist or read on to learn how to remove bats or need to know how to “bat-proof” your house.
Bats of the Pacific Northwest
In the Oregon/Washington areas, the bats that infest structures are most commonly the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus), the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) & more rarely the Western Long-Eared Bat (Myotis evotis). These bats are cavity dwellers that would normally occupy a dead tree or similar above ground crevasse or shallow cave. With the reduction in dead trees & the increase in homes, these bats have slowly shifted their natural habitat to human cohabitation. Bat calls are on the rise, & I believe it only a matter of time before these bats all dwell in homes & structures.
The bats mentioned above are efficient insectivores, eating copious amounts of insects each night on their flights. Some bats devour up to 3000 insects a night, & are considered a keystone species for their roles as pollinators & predators. The microbats listed above have unusually long lifetimes for a small mammal, with bats in captivity living up to 30 years. While State & Federal law varies, Bats are generally considered a Protected Species. It is illegal to harm bats.
Rabies & Histoplasmosis
While bats can damage a structure through an accumulation of guano and urine, it is generally rabies that concerns most people. While the number of bats who are positive for rabies is very low, bats are the reservoir species for that virus & it is impossible to tell if a given bat is rabid. Under no circumstances should anyone ever handle a bat or allow skin contact with one. If exposure has occurred and you cannot test the bat, the individuals exposed must receive the rabies vaccines immediately. Rabies is 100% fatal if symptoms arise. A lesser-known yet more common risk with bat infestations is Histoplasmosis, caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus can infest bat guano, and its spores can cause flu-like symptoms to those exposed. Anyone who is working in a bat-infested area must take precautions.
Basic Bat Exclusion
Bats infest in numbers when they are in the birthing season, which begins in May and ends in September. It’s against the law to disturb bats when they have pups. It’s also inadvisable to remove bats from November to March, as they may have decided to hibernate instead of migrating. When looking for bat entry points, the best place to start is the highest peak on the side of the structure that gets the most sun. In season, you can expect the bats to leave approximately around 9 pm. Count the bats to get an idea of how serious the problem is. When you have identified the main exit point, you will survey the building and seal ALL potential entry points. Make sure seals are tight, bats will attempt to return to a structure they were born in up to 5 years after the fact. Seal the entire building other than the primary exit, you will install a “one-way door” tightly over the exit point. Typically a tube of some kind that allows bats to leave but not re-enter. Leave that in place for a week, then check to see if the bats are gone. If they are, close the final hole, and your bat problem should be resolved.
Wayfare Pest Solution: Experienced at Removing Bats
We are a certified 100% Eco-Friendly Pest Solution business. Bats are important to the overall health of our world. That’s why we remove bats in a way that is safe for the bats as well as for humans. If you have found bats living in your attic or want to learn more about keeping your house bat free, contact us.