Homeowners should be aware if they have Bats in the Attic.
Bats have been often been falsely portrayed as being dangerous to humans, while they do pose certain dangers they are not intentionally coming after you. Bats are not blind, they have an incredible sense of hearing and bats are insectivores, bats play a vital role in the control of night-flying insects during the spring, summer and fall seasons. If a bat comes near you it most likely is coming close to you due to zoning in on the insects that are already near you due to the body heat you emit. Most injuries to humans from bats come from the human reacting to the bat’s presence and the bat feeling threatened and reacting.
Bats are not rodents, contrary to popular belief they are also not filthy animals. They in fact are meticulous about keeping themselves clean and groomed. The odor that most people associate with bats is from the guano (feces) and urine below where they roost. The smell results after a bit of time after the bat has been roosting there. It can normally be noticed by the heavy smell of ammonia coming from the attic areas.
Bats do not chew or fight to get into a home; they normally arrive there due to the air drafts and existing holes in the home. Bats are able to get into a home through a hole no larger than ½”, this could be a weep hole 30 or 40 feet above your eye level near your roof line. They have arrived at your home due to the air drafts and your home being either cool or warm enough for their needs at the time. It used to be that the bats would find and inhabit old mining shafts and caves, while our cities expand out and take over more and more space the bats are getting closer and closer to us out of necessity. Thus they roost in people’s homes and barns. Some homeowners have taken advantage of the free pest control and build bat houses on their properties to encourage the bats to roost and handle the night time bug populations. This works as long as the bats are invited to live there prior to taking up roosting in the home. Bats tend to take up position in brick houses more often due to the fact that the brick retains heat the best.
Most homeowners first reaction to finding out there are bats in the attic is to seal all the holes in the structure. This is the worst thing that you can do for your home. After the areas have been sealed the bats will still wake at night to eat, when this happens and they are not able to get out of the house through their normal means they will try and find other ways out which most often results in the bats entering the living areas of your house. This can cause damage in your home as well as putting people in danger of injury from the bats flying in your home and in rare cases of being bitten by the bats.
If you are ever bitten by a bat immediately seek medical attention to ensure you are not at risk for the rabies or any other disease or illness.
If you have bats in your attic the best thing to do is to leave them be until you can have a professional out to help you with exclusion. This is very important as in most states in the U.S. it is illegal to kill bats and in some cases they are protected federally. The Wildlife Specialist that comes to do your exclusion will be familiar with the laws and regulations as well as the most effective and humane eviction.