BAT CONTROL AND BAT-PROOFING
Bats are nocturnal, flying animals that are known for inhabiting dark and secluded locations. These creatures spend most of their time searching for insects, preferably mosquitoes. As they dip and dive at fast speeds, bats can eat their weight in bugs every night. Bats are actually very beneficial to the environment and are not innately attracted to humans; they are nature’s pest control, helping reduce active mosquito populations.
There are over 1,400 species of bats across the world, but only two dominate the New Jersey area: the little brown bat and the big brown bat. Even if you don’t see bats, they are very prevalent throughout New Jersey.
Not sure if you have bats at home? Or maybe you want to learn more about how to bat control works. Check out the following information to clarify some questions you may have.
Do bats bite?
Bats, in fact, will only bite if they feel threatened or if they are handled improperly. It is a common misconception that bats will attack humans for no reason, a myth that has been proven inaccurate. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a bat, it is important to seek medical care immediately to test for rabies transmission. Be sure to wash the bite and any other locations that have come in contact with the bat’s saliva. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell if the bats have rabies solely based on appearance, so testing must be conducted. If transferred, rabies is a deadly disease that causes inflammation of the brain and sometimes death. However, bats are rarely rabid, with only less than 10 percent documented of becoming rabid.
Should I be concerned about bats?
Even though, bats do not bite unless they feel threatened and rabies is not very common in these creatures, homeowners should be concerned about bats being present in their properties. Bats nesting in your property become hazardous due to the droppings and urine they consistently create. The fungi that harbor in bat droppings can cause a lung disease known as histoplasmosis.
What may bats in your property cause?
Bats typically colonize in large groups, and one bat can produce between 20-30 droppings a day; so the number of droppings in a home can easily pile up which can cause roofs to cave in, causing damage to your property. Besides the damage and the health threat that bats may cause, their waste also attracts other pests like cockroaches, and the smell of their feces may encourage other bats to invade the home. There is also the possibility of them dying inside your walls, ceiling, etc. which will spread a bad smell in your home. A dead bat and the accumulation of droppings should be professionally decontaminated and removed.
How to identify a bat infestation?
As mentioned before bats are nocturnal creatures, they are also very quiet animals. Bats, like other wildlife, look for a place that offers protection and a comfortable temperature where they can live and thrive. Unfortunately, your home satisfies both requirements, they often use dark areas like attics, wall voids, chimneys, and barns as their nesting areas. They usually use small cracks or gaps in a mortar joint on higher buildings to enter a structure.
Homeowners don’t always notice gaps in their properties and can go several years without knowing that bats are nesting because they become so secluded; therefore, confirming the presence of bats will take a little investigating. The following are some signs of bat infestations that could help you identify an infestation:
- If you often find bats flying inside your home this means that you probably have bats living somewhere in your walls or attic
- Piles of droppings in one corner of the attic or near the entry point
- Droppings on attic insulation
- Stains on the attic walls from bats’ urine
- Your attic has a strong smell of ammonia, which is caused by the excrement
- Hearing small squeaking noises or scratching
- Seeing them leaving your property through the possible main entry point
Are bats protected?
Bats are protected in New Jersey. The following was stated by the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife:
“All bats – like all of NJ’s native nongame wildlife – are protected by law under the NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act of 1973, making it illegal to harm, harass, capture, or kill bats, or to attempt to do so.
Bat colony exclusion must be done following proper methods and seasonal “safe dates” so that bats are not harmed in the process. Physically removing bats or poisoning bats is NOT legal and NOT effective. Flytraps and glue traps should NOT be used in places where bats may encounter them.
New Jersey’s “safe dates” for bat exclusion are April 1-30 and August 1-October 15.”
For more information about safe dates for bat exclusions please click here.
Can I get rid of bats myself?
You will find different ways to get rid of bats on your own online; you’ll find a lot of DIY tactics and methods that involve “natural” remedies or ultrasonic sound waves. Unfortunately, there is no research behind these claims. Bats will continue to be drawn in year after year until the entries are sealed. If you have bats in your attic or chimney, call a wildlife removal or pest control company to handle the situation professionally.