Home Maintenance Tip: Keep Bats Out of Your Attic
Posted on April 03, 2015

When you think of bats, do you think of haunted houses and Halloween? Bats may seem creepy, but are actually beneficial but could be residing in your house attic.

There are over 40 species of bats in the United States. Some species are on the Endangered Species list. Bats, nocturnal winged mammals, mostly consume insects such as beetles, gnats, moths, flies and mosquitoes, and therefore are useful to humans. A single bat can consume up to 7,000 mosquitoes in one night.

Bats seek out a safe place to roost and establish colonies to raise their young. Sometimes, that safe place is your attic. The problem is that bat droppings, called guano, can cause unpleasant odors and can be dangerous to your health causing serious lung disease.

A colony can consist of 40 to 20,000 bats. It only takes a small opening of 3/8” for some species of bats to enter your attic or home. The best way to control bats is to prevent them from entering your house by sealing any gap or opening on the exterior of your house, particularly areas near the roof such as:

  • Roof edges, eaves, fascia and soffits;
  • Gable apex and gable end vents
  • Chimney and roof vents
  • Dormers and siding

If bats are already in your attic, you will need a different approach. It is important not to seal the openings until all bats are out of the attic. Bats typically fly out around dusk and are back before dawn making several trips in and out each night.

Exclusion is the method of choice for getting rid of bats in your attic. This involves installing one-way exclusion devices such as screening, cones or funnels at openings being used for entry. These devices allow the bats to fly out but not in. When all the bats are gone, the devices are removed and all entry holes or gaps are sealed. Once the bats are gone, the droppings and urine in the attic need to be cleaned up.

Basic guidelines for getting rid of bats in your attic safely are as follows:

  • Perform live exclusions only.
  • Do not kill bats or use poisons or fumigants.
  • Do not remove bats during mating season (approximately May 1 to August 1)
  • Seal all entry points into the attic.
  • Clean up bat droppings and urine.

Getting rid of bats in your attic can be frustrating, dangerous and potentially illegal. Therefore, it is an activity best left to professionals. Contact a licensed Wildlife Damage Control Agent to assist with your bat infestation.

 

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