Creepy Supernatural Creature or Harmless Flying Mammal? Either Way, They Don't Belong in Your Belfry!
Bats have a long standing reputation as being creepy and scary due to their fictitious association with vampires. Bats are actually quite beneficial to the environment. They keep down the population of other harmful insects that can destroy crops and spread disease. Never the less, they can become nuisances if they start to roost inside of our homes. Their guano (droppings) and urine can stain ceilings, cause a foul odor and present a health hazard (rabies and respiratory diseases) to humans and pets.
Bats, like any living creatures are drawn to places where their basic needs for water, food and shelter will be met. bats eat insects. If there is tall grass, or standing water ( places where insects harbor and breed) on your property the odds of attracting bats go up. Bats often enter the home through the attic vents louvers, as well as gaps in the roof line and/or upper levels of the structure. They can enter into gaps as small as a half an inch, sometimes even one quarter of an inch in diameter, and often roost behind window shutters. Before roosting inside of a home, bats will often hang behind the attic vent louvers until their presence causes a breakdown in the structure of the screening from which they hang. At this point the bats will gain access to the interior of the attic where they will roost from the rafters and ceiling boards. Bats are colony creatures. When one or a few bats create or discover a convenient roosting space several and eventually many others will follow. Over time bats can roost in large numbers.
There are many species of bats that are present in various parts of the world from wilderness areas to the cities and suburbs. If you live in a structure or an area that may be particularly vulnerable to attract bats for roosting it is best to be proactive by “bat proofing" your living quarters to prevent a bat infestation in the first place. You may want to hire a knowledgeable professional to inspect your property in order to identify potential points of entry. Once discovered these areas should be screened or repaired to prevent bats from taking advantage of your home as a roosting spot. If your home has already been chosen as a roosting spot for bats, do not try to solve the problem on your own. It is never wise to handle a bat. Almost all bat bites to humans are a result of the bat having been picked up. One percent of bats will contract rabies and rabies can spread to humans by way of a bite.Bat feces can also pose dangers and health risks to humans. Until a professional pest control company with experience dealing in bat removal can be called, be sure children are aware to stay away from the area where droppings may land as well as places where any dead bats may fall from the structure. Areas and items that have been contaminated by bat droppings must be cleaned and guano disposed of in a professional and safe manner. Protective equipment such as respirator mask and gloves must be worn as precaution against contamination while cleaning up an area once infested by bats. A local pest control company experienced in bat cleanup (such as CATO Termite and Pest Control) will be aware of and follow state and local requirements for removal, transportation and disposal of contaminated material in the South Jersey, Central Jersey and Philadelphia five county metro areas.
Here are the general steps for bat removal and control services;
Cato technicians will carefully and thoroughly inspect the structure for potential bat entry/access points and roosts to determine the scope of service. Firm pricing and warranties for the service will be established so that bat removal, proofing, clean up and sanitizing can begin.
Our trained professionals will install screening, hardening foam, chimney caps, draft guards and vent covers where appropriate to prevent bats from regaining access to your home. We will inspect plumbing ,electrical pipe and wire chases for gaps/holes that may allow bat entry. They will also inspect windows and doors to be sure seals are tight.
More Fun facts about Bats:
Bats are mammals like cats and dogs: they are warm-blooded, they have fur, and they nurse their young with milk. Bats are the only mammals that can fly, although other species can glide from trees. Bats are valuable critters worth protecting. Worldwide, they are the primary predators of vast numbers of insects that cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually and spread human disease such as west Nile virus. In the United States, little brown bats often eat mosquitoes. Tested in a laboratory setting bats have been found to eat ten mosquitoes per minute. Assuming an unlimited appetite that amounts to 600 mosquitoes in a single hour.
In the spring, usually around May, female bats roost together to rear young, this habit is known as a maternity colony, where each female gives birth to one to two babies. Naked, and blind at first, the young bats grow quickly, feeding on a diet of rich milk from their mothers. By August they are fully weaned and able to fly and fend for themselves.
Bats hibernate during winter, choosing caves, tunnels, and other cave- like places. Their temperature drops and their heartbeat slows, in order to conserve energy. They may wake up several times during hibernation, either to feed in milder weather or to move to a more suitable site.