Friend, Foe, Or Both?
Bats play a vital role in our ecosystem, and even help to dramatically control mosquito populations. However, bats can quickly be labeled “pests” if they find themselves on the inside of a home or business. It can be quite the ordeal when people find a bat inside their home or workspace. Panicking is a common reaction, but with a little knowledge and help from the JP Pest Services Wildlife Department, order will soon be restored at home or work.
Why Bats Want Inside
It's possible for bats to find themselves on the inside of structures for many different reasons, but more commonly it’s due to one of the following two scenarios:
1. Young Bats Entering Accidentally
When you find a single bat inside of a structure, it’s often between July-August, during the evening hours. These single bats are usually young pups that have or are just learning to fly. Once inside, it will often circle a room searching for an exit. There are times when a bat will manage to find its own way out if you leave windows and doors open. A lot of people unintentionally prolong the situation by chasing or swatting at the trapped bat.
How To Safely Contain A Loose Bat If you and a bat happen to cross paths inside of your home or office, you can attempt to try and contain it until wildlife professionals are able to safely and humanely remove the animal b trying these methods:
- Close all doors in the room where the bat is located. You should try and prevent the bat from relocating to other rooms in the structure.
- Once the bat is contained in a single room, open all windows and doors that allow access outdoors. Ideally, the bat would find its own way out of the structure.
- Make sure all pets are removed from the area.
- Do not attempt to encourage the bat to move towards an open door or window. By allowing the bat to find an exit on its own, it will stay calmer and likely find an exit quicker rather than if it were under even more stress.
- Bats will expend a lot of energy trying to find an exit. Often times the bat will land on a curtain or wall to rest. If this happens, do not touch or handle the bat. You can try and utilize household items to scoop the bat into a container, and then release it outdoors. If you do attempt this, it's best to wear gloves ensuring you do not come into direct contact with the animal.
In the Northeast bats will try and roost in quiet locations far from human activity. Two bat species New Englanders come into contact with the most, the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat, are two species commonly found roosting inside of structures. Ideally, these two species would seek hollow tree trunks to roost but with the increasing development of forests, homes and businesses become a suitable alternative. Attics are a favorite spot for bats due to higher temperatures which act as an incubator for newborn pups.
Bat Removal & Prevention
The Wildlife Department at JP Pest Services is specially trained in safe, humane, legal, and most importantly, effective bat exclusion and prevention services.
On-site Property Inspection & Estimate
One of our Wildlife Service Professionals will start the process by providing you with an on-site property inspection and service estimate.
The best and most effective way to remove bats is by bat-proofing the structure to deny exclude and deny them re-entry. Other methods of removal such the use of chemicals or other deterrents are rarely effective long-term, potentially illegal, and dangerous to humans and pets. JP Pest Services provides the most effective and humane method of bat control by sealing off entry points and installing one-way doors which allow bats to leave but prevent their re-entry.
Common Entry Points
Most often, bats gain access into a structure where materials have warped or shrunk.
Bats often gain access to structures by entering areas where joined materials have either warped, shrunk, or parted. Other common entry points are louvered vents with loose or damaged screening, roof peak, and flashing that has pulled apart from the siding or roof materials (see diagram). Aside from exterior entrance points, there are areas to inspect on the inside of structure, typically in the attic, that will need to be sealed.
Once the entry points have been identified, the next step in our control process is to seal them to prevent re-entry. By using one-way doors and other materials, entry points are professionally sealed to ensure a long lasting protection.
Timing Is Everything
The time of year in which bat removal is performed is critical. One of the primary reasons back seek shelter inside of structures is to roost and raise their pups. Since pups stay inside of the structure until they are able to fly, bat removal services should not be completed from late May through early July. If removal (along with entrypoint sealing) is performed while pups are inside of a structure, you are left with an even bigger problem than when you started. Along with the pups dying and decaying inside of the structure, mother bats will often become frantic trying to reenter a structure once they realize they cannot get back inside. Mother bats will search for other entrances into the structures causing increased activity on the property.
Homeowners sometime are faced with the difficult situation of having construction projects taking place at the same time bats are roosting in their attic. It’s common for construction workers to be the ones who initially discover the roosting bats in these scenarios. Many homeowners don’t have the luxury of halting or delaying a project if bats and their young are discovered. In these cases, we recommend ensuring all entry points remain accessible so mothers can continue caring for their pups until they are able to fly. Once the pups are able to come and go, one-way doors can then be installed, and finally sealing all entry points.
Ideally, bat removal should happen during spring prior to roosting season. Alternatively, the fall months are also suitable to remove bats from structures.
Removal Timing And Solution Guide
- January-April - entry points should all be sealed Seal prior to bats coming back to the structure.
- May-August - be on the lookout for bats activity to help find the areas they are gaining access to the structure from. Do not seal any entry points during these months.
- August-October - One-way doors are safe to install starting in late August until late fall.
- November-December - Sealing entry points during these months is typically safe. However, if there’s any reason to believe that there are bats hibernating inside the structure, wait and use one-way doors during September and October.
A one-way doors are made of mesh or screen material that is secured over the known entry points, which should form a tent-like shape. These doors allow bats to exit during the evening hours but do not permit re-entry into the structure. This method of exclusion relies heavily a bats sense of smell. Bats always use their sense of smell to find and return to entry points. They will exit at the bottom of the tent shaped material but upon returning they will attempt to enter at the original, covered entry point.
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