Bat removal: what to do if you find bats in your house
If there is a body of water nearby your house, such as a lake, river or pond, or if you live near a forested area, finding bats in your house is a real possibility. Even though these small mammals are beneficial in their natural environment, if they get into your attic, the presence of bats can be dangerous for your health. If you have a bat infestation and want to know more about exactly what you’re dealing with, here’s a quick look at the issue and how our bat removal experts can get these messy night creatures out of your home.
Get to know your bats
Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Classified in the order Chiroptera, there are more than 1,000 species, some of which can live for up to 30 years.
Even though babies are born with teeth, mother bats nurse them, just as all other mammals nourish their young. Interestingly, the bones of their forelimbs are identical to those of humans; however, the size and arrangement are different.
Depending on the species, bats vary from 7 to 15 centimetres in length. Their ears are large compared to the size of the head and eyes. The shape and colour of a bat’s ears and the colour of its fur are the best clues for identifying the kind of bat roosting in your attic.
Eight species can be found in Quebec:
- The big brown bat is the most common and the most likely to get into a house.
- The silver-haired bat is migratory, although it has been spotted in buildings in the winter.
- The little brown bat is an endangered species. Females return to the same site every year to give birth.
- The northern long-eared bat is an endangered species.
- The hoary bat is migratory and is the largest of all species found in Quebec.
- The red bat is migratory.
- The eastern pipistrelle is an endangered species.
- The small-footed bat is the smallest and rarest of the species found in Quebec.
Hibernating bats: the bane of homeowners
Early in the fall, bats that don’t migrate begin looking for a secluded place to mate, hibernate and nest.
Some settle in mines, caves, cracks in rocks or even under tree bark. That’s because they are able to lower their body temperature to between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius to cope with the cold and maintain their energy reserves.
Other bats opt to roost inside buildings, especially in the attic. This is where bat removal gets complicated for homeowners, because bat feces is known to carry diseases like rabies and histoplasmosis.
Clues that there are bats in your house
Here are some signs that you have bats in your attic and you may need extermination services:
- An accumulation of guano (bat poop) at the entrance to the nest
- White, milky urine on windows
- Grinding or scratching noises in the attic at night
- Greasy smudge marks near the nest
If you’re still in doubt, you can also do an inspection by shining the beam of a flashlight up into your attic at night. You may see a bat fly into or out of the light.
Did you know it’s against the law to exterminate bats?
Several bat species are in danger of extinction in Quebec and enjoy a protected status. That’s why you must not kill any that might have strayed into your house.
The only viable approach to bat extermination is to remove them alive. This can be quite complicated, especially if there’s a whole colony set up in your home. There are three solid reasons why we recommend hiring a professional bat removal service to deal with the problem:
- There is a real risk of contracting rabies from bats. Let us remove your infestation with our proven, safe techniques.
- Bats must be removed at the right time of year; otherwise, you risk further contamination of the house.
- The more bats you have, the greater the accumulation of guano. Because of the risk of contamination, the roosting space needs to be sanitized with specialized equipment.
Caution: if your bat problem has existed for several years, it is almost certain that the colony has made your roof its permanent den. This poses risks to your health and can also result in a loss of energy efficiency in your home if the bats have destroyed the insulation in your roof.
Bat extermination: how we remove bats
The best time for bat extermination is during the summer, once the baby bats are big enough to leave the nest. This prevents young bats from dying alone, inside the house, if the mother is out looking for food.
We use an exclusion method that involves the installation of net barriers. Once a bat has left the den for food, it will not be able to return. This approach to bat extermination is simple but effective.
When this is done, we can then provide sealing and caulking services to seal all holes and cracks through which the bats have been gaining entry.
After we have removed all bats from your attic and made sure they can’t get back in, it’s important to carry out decontamination to remediate the area. This essential step gets rid of the disease-causing spores in the bat excrement that can cause harm.