Bat Control in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Delaware
What Do Bats Look Like?
Size: Common bat species are usually between 2 and 6 inches (50 to 152 mm) in body length and have 9- to 16-inch (228 to 407 mm) wingspans. The smallest living bats may be as short as an inch in body length, while the largest extant species possess wingspans of up to 5 feet or more.
Color: Though significant variations in color may exist, bats usually possess brown, black, or grey fur. A few species of bats have pure white colorations.
Characteristics: Leathery wings are the most recognizable and distinguishing characteristic of bats, as they are unique among mammals. Most species of microbats also display huge and sensitive ears, which facilitate echolocation techniques. Conversely, as they often hunt primarily by sight, megabats generally possess larger eyes. Species of either order typically have prominent noses, as the sense of smell often proves important to all bats. Widespread variations in appearance may exist from species to species due to the specific adaptations that different types of bats have developed for survival.
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- Species: Bats are winged mammals of the order Chiroptera. The animals constitute the only mammals capable of true and continuous flight. Microchiroptera, or microbats, and Megachiroptera, or megabats, make up the two major classifications of the flying mammals.
- Role: Besides playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, the insect-feeding behavior exhibited by bats greatly reduces the presence of other problematic pests.
- Problems: Though the mammals prove beneficial to humans in many ways, bats may become pests in certain situations. In particular, bats sometimes roost in homes and workplaces and vector diseases such as rabies.
What Do Bats Eat?
Despite the widely circulated legends of bats feeding exclusively on blood, about 70% of bat species are largely insectivores that eat insects.
Of the remaining 30%, the majority of bats eat fruit. In addition, some of the mammals are carnivorous predators and feed on small mammals, lizards, and even fish.
Only a few species, known as vampire bats, feed on blood.
Female bats typically give birth to only one offspring at a time. The mammals generally nurse and rear their young for a period of time ranging from six weeks to four months.
Once bats reach maturity, the animals roost in habitats such as caves, buildings, or trees, depending on the particular species.
Bats enjoy a relatively long lifespan for animals of their size and often live for 20 years or more.
- Feces: May notice the smell or sight of bat droppings, also known as guano
- Sounds: Listen for squeaking or rustling noises coming from the attic
- Flying: Look for bats flying about or sleeping in the home
Problems Caused by Bats
Bat guano often accumulates and causes problems in infested structures.
The droppings create odors, attract insects, contaminate surfaces, which may lead to a number of health problems such as histoplasmosis, and may produce long-term damage that hurts property value.
Additionally, the sight of bats flying around tends to induce discomfort in humans. Many people experience alarm and panic upon seeing bats in the home or even outside. Stumbling upon a large bat colony often proves especially unsettling.
Bats & Rabies
While bats hold a notorious reputation as vectors of rabies, the perception may be misleading.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only one to two cases of rabies in humans occur each year. However, despite the low likelihood of contracting the disease, bats are indeed responsible for the vast majority of occurrences.
Infected bats normally transfer rabies to humans through bites. Though the mammals typically do not behave aggressively toward humans, cornered or frightened bats may bite out of self-defense.
Signs of Infestation
- Guano: The sight and smell of guano is a reliable sign of a bat infestation.
- Sounds: Hearing unexplained noises from the attic may also indicate the presence of bats.
- Sight: Actually spotting the pests in the home is a fairly rare occurrence, as bats are primarily nocturnal and usually sleep during daylight hours. Though sighting a bat in the house during the day is not necessarily a definitive indicator of an infestation, the incident often qualifies as significant cause to have a pest control specialist investigate the home for signs of bat colonies.
Exclusion, or preventing the flying mammals from entering structures in the first place, is widely regarded as the most effective way to avoid bat infestations.
Bat-proofing homes or office buildings may consist of an assortment of methods, including:
- Adding screens to openings.
- Sealing crevices.
- Implementing chemical repellents.
Though the process sometimes proves costly and/or impractical, installing lights to continuously illuminate attic spaces reduces dark areas and can create a less favorable roosting environment for bats.
However, avoid placing bright lights outside in an attempt to repel the pests, as this will attract insects like moths and mosquitoes, which will subsequently attract more bats.
Tips for Removal from Home
Because many varieties of bats are endangered or threatened species and valuable to the ecosystem, poisons and other lethal traps are eschewed by professional pest control experts.
Provide An Exit
In the case of a single bat entering a residence or workplace, opening windows and doors often allows the animal to fly out unprompted.
Always wear leather gloves while handling bats to avoid being bitten. For the safest and most effective results, leave the work to a pest control expert.
Call the Experts
Furthermore, large infestations of bats are best handled by professional pest control specialists.
Bat removal can be a recurring need, especially if the issues that make your home an attractive nesting site are not addressed. Bats will return to the same place year after year, so it is important to take action.
Rustling in the walls or ceiling is a telltale sign of a bat, and once they’re inside, guano and urine can leave a damaging mess.
Calls for bat removal in certain parts of Western’s service area have been on the rise. If you’re facing problems, don’t attempt bat removal on your own.
Professional Bat Removal and Exclusion
With bat removal, it’s not just about getting bats out – it’s about keeping them out.
However, bats do have positive qualities (eating insects for one). That makes the right bat removal method important.
Western is committed to taking a humane approach:
- Bat ID: First, your technician will confirm that bats are present and identify entry points
- Bat removal: Bats will then be removed, although it is sometimes sufficient to focus on exclusion (bats feed at dusk, and will often vacate a property to do so)
- Bat exclusion: Finally, future bat removal needs are mitigated by removing access to bat nesting sites in the home
The most common bats in our area are the little brown bat and big brown bat. It is important to note that guano and bat urine must be thoroughly cleaned once a nesting site has been addressed: bat deposits can damage your walls and insulation over time, and are also linked with respiratory and other illnesses.
For ethical bat removal that gets results, contact Western.
Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.
Call for service: (877) 250-3857