Even if your favorite superhero wears a black cape and cowl, evidence of bats on your property can be terrifying. You may be worried that bats may have moved into your yard or even your home. Homeowners across the country deal with bats.
Bat control can be challenging as there are safety and legal concerns with bats. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to protect the health and wellbeing of your family (as well as the bats).
Keep reading to discover what bat poop looks like, where you may find it, and other common signs of bat activity. In addition to tips about how to inspect your property for bats, you will learn more about how to get rid of bats in your attic. Equipped with information about when bats have babies, you will know how to deal with bats safely and ethically.
If you do not feel comfortable taking care of your bat problem on your own, you are not alone. A trusted pest control professional can quickly address your concerns and fears with an effective action plan. Reaching out for help can be much more convenient than taking matters into your own hands.
What Bat Poop Looks Like
Bat poop is called guano. Bat droppings smell like ammonia, and the smell is very noticeable.
Smelling or discovering guano is direct evidence that bats are roosting near your home.
Most bats eat mosquitoes and other insects. They serve a helpful purpose by eating around 600 or more mosquitoes each hour. As a result of the bat diet, guano is different from mouse dropping in texture. There may be pieces of insect prey, like moths, present in guano. Bat poop is powdery and crumbles easily, and mouse poop is more solid.
In most cases, bat droppings look like pellets that are dark but somewhat shiny. Bat poop is elongated and measures around a quarter to half of an inch in length. Some bat droppings may be the size of a grain of rice. Guano is usually smaller than mouse poop. Bats leave behind guano in small piles, another habit that distinguishes the more spread out mouse poop from bat poop.
There is great diversity in bat species, so the droppings of different species vary in appearance.
Where You May Find Bat Poop
Between 40 and 50 types of bats live in the United States. Warmer states are more hospitable to bats. Like birds, some bat species fly to more southern areas during the wintertime. Still, bats can be found around the nation in rural, suburban and urban settings.
Bats may be drawn to your home’s exterior for a number of reasons. These flying mammals hang upside down, a practice called roosting, while the sun is up. They look for darkened spaces where they can spend the day in solace.
Homeowners may spot guano in outdoor spaces such as a balcony, porch or deck. You may notice guano sitting along your window sills or stuck to exterior walls. Bats usually roost in attics, trees, chimneys, sheds, barns or storm drains on your property.
Common Signs of Bats
Bat poop is one of many signs that bats are roosting near your house. Other signs of bat presence include scratches on your home’s exterior walls or oily stains near the entrance to your attic.
Bats communicate with members of their colony by chirping. Bats use reflected sound waves to travel in the dark, an ability known as echolocation. You may hear bats chirping outside, especially at night.
Of course, if you actually see bats, they may be living on your property. Bats are often active at dawn or dusk. Sometimes they fly around by themselves, and at other times, they fly with other bats.
Checking for Bats Safely
Bats look a lot more frightening than they actually are. They prefer to hide from humans in dark places and will not bother you intentionally. Vampire bats are rare in the United States and only suck blood from cattle or deer. So there is no need to be afraid of a bat attacking you to suck your blood.
While bats can potentially spread rabies, dogs with rabies that bite humans cause 99 percent of rabies in humans. It is not likely that you will be bitten by a bat or get rabies from a bat. If you are bitten by a bat, seek medical assistance right away to be treated for potential rabies exposure.
However, homeowners should exercise caution when examining their property for signs of bat activity. Bat bites and guano can transmit diseases that are dangerous to your family’s and pets’ health. Bat urine also attracts insects that can expose your loved ones to diseases.
The buildup of bat poop contributes to the presence of mold or fungi that negatively impacts the human respiratory system. For this reason, it is important to only approach guano with a respirator, particularly in less ventilated areas like your attic. Your respirator should be capable of protecting you from microscopic particles.
To stay safe, do not touch a bat, even if you think it may be dead. Contact a veterinary professional if you come across a bat that may be sick, but do not engage with it yourself. Encourage children in your family to also keep their distance from bats.
How To Get Rid of Bats in the Attic
Bats come into your home through openings but cannot create holes in your walls or roofing. These creatures may gain access to your attic through chimneys or open spaces. They may enter under loose shutters, shingles or siding. Once inside your house, bats can cause damage to your walls and insulation.
Removing Bats from Your Attic
Trying to harm or kill a bat can be dangerous for you and illegal in some places. Homeowners can purchase non-toxic bat repellents in liquid or gel form. This may not be the best solution for people concerned with excess chemicals in their homes. Another way to repel bats is by using ultrasonic devices that send out high-frequency sound waves.
Homeowners or pest control professionals can install exclusion devices that offer bats to escape your home but will not let them back in. If you use this method, double-check to make sure the bats have left your attic before closing it up in a more permanent way.
If you feel unsafe trying to remove bats from your property, it is best to contact a rodent and wildlife control specialist. Professionals can also safely clean up your attic after bats have been removed. This is a good idea as contact with bat poop is dangerous to your health. Seeking professional support may be more affordable than purchasing the supplies needed to do the job on your own.
Keeping Bats Away from Your Property
Keeping bats out of attics should be a priority for homeowners. Perform regular maintenance on your home to help prevent potential issues with bats. Clean your attic and other dark spaces, as human activity in these places will discourage bats from roosting here. Keep doors and windows shut when you are not using them to keep bats from entering.
If you have bats in your attic, keep an eye out for when they exit and enter, staying at a safe distance. Wait until sundown to close off openings to your home. This is when bats will be most likely flying and active outside of your attic. Repair holes, caulk crevices and shut off openings. If you cannot fix a damaged area, block it off with a strong mesh net.
When Do Bats Have Babies?
While some bats live alone, others live in large colonies. If you are worried that a bat colony is developing in your attic, it is wise to take action as soon as possible.
Bats can live up to 20 years, but female bats usually only give birth to one or two bat pups annually. Bats mate during the fall and hibernate during the winter. Bat babies are born in the spring and rely on their mothers for food. During the summer months, bat pups are strong enough to leave their colony. Young bats may struggle to fly away, though, which means they may end up being trapped up in your attic.
Environmental protection laws in the United States protect the life cycle of bats. In most places, homeowners are prohibited from removing bat babies or their colonies from their property.
If you want to keep your loved ones, including your furry friends, safe from exposure to diseases and illnesses spread by bat poop, contact a bat control expert today. A professional will understand your local laws best. They can put a pest control plan in place when it is safe and legal to remove a bat colony from your home or property.
ABC Can Make Your Property Bat-free Again
While there are some benefits of bats, you definitely don’t want them nesting on your property. If you need help with bats, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our pest control team can create a plan to get rid of these creatures.