Summertime Pest Solutions: Bats in Attics, Homes and Barns
May 27, 2014
Bats tend to be associated with Count Dracula, vampires and other Halloween myths. These nocturnal mammals are often mistakenly assumed to be bloodsuckers and scary creatures, but in all reality, bats are more scared of humans than we are of them. The bat's existence is also important for our ecosystem. Every hour a bat can eat up to 1,000 insects, including many agricultural pests, thus, helping out local farmers.
Even though bats are not dangerous to have around, their urine and guano (feces) can become a problem. If left alone, bat excrement can infiltrate your home and become a place for microorganisms to grow. Preferred Pest Control utilizes a two-step process to safely and effectively remove bats from your attic, home or barn.
Types of Bats You'll Find in Your Home
Out of the nine species of bats that are found in Iowa, only two types, the Big Brown bat and the Little Brown bat, use man-made structures as summer roosts. Other species opt for forests with dense foliage or caves. While the Big Brown bat will use buildings for winter shelter, we find the majority of bats enter homes from May to September.
Why My Home and What Are They Doing Here?
Bats that live in attics or barns are accustomed to dry, hot areas. Your home also offers additional benefits such as protection from predators and an ideal space to raise their pups. They can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter inch and are likely to enter around the chimney, under shingles and roof vents. Unfortunately, once a bat decides to call your attic or barn their home, they will return year after year.
Most often you will never see or hear a bat in your home. If one does find its way into your living space, it is most likely lost. Iowa has laws protecting bats so if a bat does end up in your house, do not kill it. Use leather gloves or a towel to pick up the bat, and let it go outside. If you have more than one visitor, contact your local pest control provider for more effective removal methods.
Danger and Disease
Bats aren't intentionally harmful, but if a number of bats have roosted in your home or barn they will fight to protect their colony. Most people assume that if they are bitten or scratched by a bat they will contract rabies. In reality, less than 1 percent of all bats carry the rabies disease. Those bats that do carry rabies are sick and have lost, or are losing their ability to fly. Thus, it is unlikely that people or pets will come into contact with a rabid bat.
The biggest problem that arises if a bat roosts in the rafters of your home is disease spread from their droppings. Fresh guano can contaminate the air, putting your family's health at risk. One pathogen that guano contains is the histoplasmosis fungus, which causes lung infections. Bat guano can also present several other problems. Besides creating a foul odor, bat urine and guano can cause wood deterioration, staining and safety hazards from slippery floors. Additionally, cockroaches and other household pests may be attracted to bat guano, so it is best to have an infested area professionally inspected and sanitized.
Bat Removal Services
Bat control is easiest when done before the summer months. If you think you have a bat infestation call the experts at Preferred Pest Control. In addition to our expert service, our extensive warranty guarantees covers your home for three years if bats do happen to come back.