Bats are quite beneficial to have around, as they eat thousands of nasty bugs such as mosquitoes. However, if the bats are starting to nest some place where they don’t belong, such as your attic, it is important to prevent them from making your home theirs, providing you are in a country where it is permissible by law to take action against bats. Taking into consideration that the population growth is limited by their slow birth rate, in several countries bats are protected by law, as their dietary needs keep crops safe from insects and other pests.
Should you find bats inside your residence, a risk of infestation with several types of disease can occur. They can also bring inside your house other pests such as mites, fleas or ticks, which are also carriers of other viruses.
Bats can create quite a mess where they live. Whether the colony is located in an attic or wall void, the droppings can damage materials and can also have an unacceptable pungent odor. Bat droppings can also contain microbes which can lead to respiratory disease. Anyone who comes in contact with bats should wear respiratory protection to avoid breathing potentially harmful microbes. Also, bats should not be handled by anyone except the trained wildlife expert.
Avoid infestation with bats
Keep in mind that traps are pretty useless when it comes to entrapping bats, as it is extremely unlikely that they will come close to the traps. Fumigations is again solution that is considered cruel and might even lead to fees due to the protection regimen of some species. Also, even if you manage to affect the bats around your house, you will risk that their bodies remain in corners of the attic or inside walls and decompose, emitting a foul smell.
In order to prevent bats from entering your residence, you need to find possible pathways that they can use. You need to do an inspection of the house, paying particular attention to roof edges, cracks, fascia boards, loose tiles, vents, chimneys, and basically any place in the architecture where there might be a hole or a gap that bats can squeeze into. They can fit through areas smaller than you imagine. Bat urine can cause degradation of flooring, insulation and wood. Urine and droppings on attic floors may seep into ceilings of living areas. This can cause wood to become brittle, and many times it is best to have the soiled material replaced.
The best time for bat prevention techniques
Evacuating bats during the right season is essential to their overall survival and ability to continue eliminating pests. Find out if you’re dealing with a nursing colony. If you remove the adult bats before the pups can fly out, they’ll die in the building.
Try to avoid getting rid of bats in the winter. Bats typically hibernate during the cold season, and there won’t be enough food for them to survive outside. If the bat population is decimated, you’ll probably notice more insects like mosquitoes and garden pests come spring.
It’s often very difficult, during a daytime inspection, to identify all of the potential bat entry/exit gaps, especially on certain types of architecture. If you do a night watch, you’ll often be very surprised by some of the areas from which you see bats emerging. In fact, some bats will change their entry/exit holes as the season progresses.
By also doing a check at night, you can see the bats flying out, and back in, to the various openings, and this will give you more information about where to seal. As the majority fly out of the building at dusk, you can seal up the main entrances by the time they return. However, a lot depends on the bat behaviour, and the variables that come with different building architectures.
Prevention measures against bats:
- Keep closed the windows and doors that lack protecting nets, especially at night time;
- Should the nets be deteriorated, make sure you change them in time;
- Cover your chimney with special caps that won’t let bats get in, but will allow smoke to exit easily;
- Use polyurethane foam to cover cracks in the walls or roof;
- As a useful repellent, you can use mothballs tied in a small sack, and placed during the day in the place where the bats nest. The odor will discourage them from nesting there, at least for a period of time, until you can find a more permeant solution.