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How Can You Tell If Your Home Has a Bat Infestation?

To be sure, you require a bat exclusion service, and an inspection should be performed by a bat exclusion professional. Keeping bats out of the home long-term is the ultimate goal.

It’s also highly recommended to hire a professional rather than attempting to get rid of bats yourself, which we discuss the pros and cons of in the next section.

There several ways to spot an intrusive maternity bat colony if the colony lives in the attic, chimney, or other potential areas where bats choose to reside. Some bat problems take a trained eye to identify, while others are relatively obvious.

Taken together, they’re a sure indication that bats are present. Indeed, if you encounter bats in your living space, that’s a clear signal that you have bats in the attic. You may also hear high-pitched chirps, squeaks, or scratching sounds.

If bats are roosting in your attic, bat guano accumulations will become a significant problem over time. Bat guano will buildup below the areas where they nest in the attic space. In these cases, a bat guano cleanup service may also be necessary.

Of course, certain types of rodents leave droppings, which can strongly resemble bat droppings. So, to confirm the presence of bats, a professional will be able to differentiate bat guano from other rodent feces during the bat inspection. Bat guano has a pungent, ammonia-like scent.

You may also see dark stains around attic entry points, caused by an oily residue on the bat’s fur. These stains strongly indicate that a bat infestation is present. You can easily see these stains on light-colored siding, but much harder to spot on bricks and darker exterior finishes.

However, a trained professional will know what to look for and will be able to trace the path bats are taking to gain entry into your home. If you suspect that you have a bat problem, call a local bat exclusion company from our USA directory for an inspection.

Photo on the bat exclusion page: Bat entrance into an attic.

Bats entered via the gap between the bricks and the fascia.

Photo on the bat exclusion page: Bat guano in an attic.

A maternal colony left this mess in the attic.

Photo on the bat exclusion page: A bat colony in an attic.

This colony caused heavy damage in this attic.

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Can I Get Rid of Bats Myself?

Bats, unlike other rodents, are federally-protected, which makes removing them more complicated than most homeowners should attempt.

Federal law demands bats must be removed from the property humanely instead of being exterminated, and that process can be dangerous for the uninitiated.

Most of the easy, home methods for accomplishing this are ineffective. Ultrasonic devices and their ilk are far better at removing money from your wallet than bats from your attic. You can try them, but you’ll generally find them covered in fresh guana a few weeks later.

Proper bat removal requires training, ladder work, and specialized equipment, and isn’t something most homeowners can attempt safely. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that during maternity season or their winter hibernation, you cannot remove bats.

Homeowners don’t possess the requisite knowledge to do the job correctly. Bat exclusion is a process best left to trained professionals.

This results from someone with no bat exclusion experience attempting to do a bat removal job on their own.

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How Does Bat Exclusion Work?

To humanely remove bats from your property, you need a system that allows the bats to leave but prevents them from reentering.

The first step involves sealing any gaps in your walls, vents, roof, and around the roofline with transparent caulk, leaving only the bat’s current entry points open. This process requires a trained eye as well as dangerous and involved ladder and roof work.

Next, a bat professional installs exclusion devices at each remaining entry point. These are specialized pieces of equipment that allow bats to exit your property but don’t readmit them safely. Once the last bat has left your attic, the exclusion is complete, and their original entry and exit points are sealed shut.

However, bats don’t give up on established roosts easily, and they’ll continue to try and regain access for quite a while. Therefore, it’s critical to seal any other possible access points. Otherwise, the colony will quickly reestablish itself.

Bat exclusion work is hazardous without the proper safety equipment, and amateurs should not attempt this task. But even excluding the risk of bodily harm from a fall, without the ability to recognize possible entry points, amateur efforts are frequently unsuccessful.

It’s simply not worth taking the risk, only to fail in the end. It’s far better to call a professional bat exclusion company and have the job done right.

photo of bat guano in attic

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Why Are Bats a Protected Species?

Bats have enjoyed federally-protected status since the early ‘80s with the passage of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and again with the Conservation Regulations 1994. Bat populations around the country had been dwindling since the turn of the 20th century, with population losses accelerating in the 1960s.

The reasons are varied but mostly center on habitat loss as well as a drastic reduction in the bats’ primary food source, insects, due to increased pesticide use.

It’s now illegal to knowingly capture, injure, or kill a bat, to disturb a roost or block access to it, or damage or destroy a roost, even if it appears unoccupied.

This is why properly dealing with a bat infestation is so difficult. If you’re not careful it’s very easy to run afoul of the law. In a very real sense when your attic becomes a roost for bats, it ceases to be your attic alone. The bats, squatters though they might be, have a claim to the space and must be removed very carefully.

bat species. thanks to USFWSmidwest, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Big Brown Bat

The big brown bat lives in most states in the US.

bat species. thanks to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Little Brown Bat

The most common bat in Alaska, as spread throughout the US.

bat species. thanks to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tri Colored Bat

Canada declared this bat an endangered species in 2012.

bat species. thanks to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Indiana Bat

Sadly, another bat on the endangered species list.

Our Humane Concern For Bats

White-Nose Syndrome Is A Problem As Well

Compounding the plight of the North American bat is the recent emergence of white-nose syndrome, a fungal infection that has killed millions of bats across 33 states and seven Canadian provinces. The fungus infects the skin of a bat’s ears, wings, and nose (hence the name). It is contracted from bat to bat contact, and spreads rapidly as the bats hibernate in gigantic colonies. Fortunately, the disease is not communicable to people.

The species most affected by the disease were northern little brown bats. These used to be immensely populous, particularly in New England. With the devastation of their population, their larger cousins, the big brown bats, have stepped in to fill their niche. Thankfully it seems that bat populations around the country are beginning to bounce back.

The issues facing bats underscore the importance of having a qualified professional conduct your bat exclusion. Trying to take care of a bat infestation yourself risks injury to the bats, yourself, as well as possible legal issues. Live-exclusion is the only legal way to remedy an infestation, and only the experts are guaranteed to do things properly.

To find a bat exclusion expert in your area, browse our directory. Our professionals are pre-vetted, so you know they can be trusted. There’s simply no better way to deal with a bat problem.

photo of bat with white nose syndrome. thanks to Marvin Moriarty/USFWS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons