MN Wild Animal Management | Bats
Bats… perhaps no other wildlife species elicit such a range of reactions and emotions as bats. While feared by some, others are captivated, awed, fascinated, and amazed by these unusual and often misunderstood creatures of the night. In much of the Western World, the mere mention of bats may inspire mystical visions of drafty castles and evil spirits, while in the Far East, bats are a sign of good luck, long life, happiness and fertility.
The fact that bats only come out at night and their ability to hide in tight, secret places probably only add to humans’ bat fear and superstition. But in fact, bloodsucking vampire bats, the stars of many a horror film, don’t even live in the United States or Canada.
But old myths die hard. Bat folklore goes back many centuries. Bats seem to have been given an undeservedly bad reputation. In truth, bats are intelligent animals, important to ecosystem and of considerable benefit to people. As the primary predator of nighttime insects, bats serve an important purpose in maintaining the balance of nature. One small brown bat can catch over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in an hour. Large brown bats prey on some of the insects most harmful to crops and gardens.
Bats Are Not Your Average Pest Control Problem!
The problem is when they find their way into our homes and businesses. Bat guano will pile up quickly and the smell is not pleasant, even if the guano is just in the attic. Bat guano will produce a rancid ammonia smell as it decomposes. If bat guano piles are high enough, they can cause sheetrock to rot and collapse. The excretions in bat toilets will drip through the attic floor, causing an unsanitary, disease-harboring, brown splotch on the ceilings in your home or office.
Many people also dislike the screeching noises bats tend to make, and it can also frighten children and keep them awake. When an attic has many bats, the animals will emanate a musky scent which can creep into the living quarters and cause an unpleasant situation.
Though most humans’ bat fears are unfounded—they are usually not aggressive and don’t suck blood—most people don’t like the thought of 100 bats living right above their heads in the attic. If you have bats in your store or business and customers or employees hear about the bat infestation, you will likely lose business and productivity.
All these bat pest problems can also affect the value of your property. It is difficult to sell a home that has a bat infestation and actually, it’s required by law that you fix the bat problem before you sell your home. Property value can decrease between five percent and ten percent due to bat or insect problems.
Sadly, due to misinformation and fear, the bat population is in severe decline and many species are now endangered. As the bat population declines, farmers are forced to use more pesticides. This further upsets the delicate balance of nature. And with the recent white nose syndrome decimating some of the bat population it is important to locate a company who is sensitive to the environment. Love them or not, we need our bats. Bats are far too vital to our ecosystem. There are effective ways to remove them that are both safe for your family as well as the bats.
This is perhaps the most common bat we see in Minnesota, and it is one of the best studied. It deserves greater attention, particularly because former colonies have disappeared or have been reduced in size.
Just like birds, raccoons and squirrels, bats often try to make their homes within attics, walls, chimneys and other hard-to-reach locations. In many cases, these animals will enter the chimney but won’t be able to exit, eventually dying. This can produce maggots, flies and unpleasant odors in your home.
A half inch of space or less is all a bat colony needs to get into the attic of your home or business. Bats feel most safe when they have to squeeze into their home, since they know most of their predators can’t follow behind.
Once living inside your attic, if the habitat is pleasant, the bat colony will only stay and grow larger. A homeowner may not even know bats are present until piles of droppings are obvious, or odors emanate throughout the house.
Bat removal is probably the most intricate and difficult task that Wild Animal Management Experts deal with on a regular basis. Their sense of direction is impeccable, so even if a homeowner successfully found a way to trap a bat colony and drove them to a place far away, bats have been known to fly back to their home site up to 500 miles away in a few short days or weeks.
Bat removal requires special bat-trapping techniques. This way, the bats will be treated in a humane manner and allowed to live, just not in your attic. There are many old wives’ tales touted as remedies for bat removal. They don’t work. There is no registered or effective bat repellent available. Some companies will try to sell anything. There are lot of so-called bat-repellent or bat-away products on the market, but they are bogus. And those high-pitch noisemakers? The FTC has issued a warning against them – ultrasonic sound emitters do not work. There is no quick and easy fix when it comes to bat control. It’s best to have a professional bat removal expert with years of experience evict the bat colony and then bat-proof the entry points so they can’t squeeze in again.