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Trivia Question: What is the smallest opening a bat needs to gain access to your home?
Correct Trivia Answer: C - Bats can enter buildings through openings as small as one-half inch in diameter.
Have you had bats in your home? It’s not all that uncommon, as bats frequently invade attics to give birth to their pups. Now that the birthing months are over (May - July), bats can be safely evicted from your home.
Evicting bats from buildings is not particularly difficult, but it requires patience and attention to detail. You may be able to do it yourself, or you may prefer to contact a Critter Control professional to do it for you.
Bats may roost in attics, soffits, louvers, chimneys and porches; under siding, eaves, roof tiles or shingles; and behind shutters (see diagram). In stadiums and parking garages, bats sometimes roost in expansion joints between concrete beams.
Photo Credit: Bat Conservation International
Most North American bats have small teeth for eating insects and do not gnaw through wood or other building materials like rodents. But they can enter buildings through openings as small as one-half inch in diameter. Common entry points include open windows or doors, broken or poorly fitted screens, open soffits, loose or missing roof shingles or tiles, places where flashing or boards have come loose and where pipes or wiring enter buildings. Openings often occur where walls meet the eaves at the gable ends of an attic, where porches attach to a house or where dormers meet the roof.
The existence of roosting bats in buildings is sometimes indicated by the presence of black or brown stains from body oils or droppings (guano) around cracks or crevices. Bat droppings may also appear on walls, under porches or decks, or beneath dilapidated ceilings. Bat guano may resemble small, hard rodent pellets; but it is soft, easily crushed to reveal shiny insect parts and does not contain any white material.
Excluding bats from buildings requires establishing one-way exits through which the bats can leave but cannot return, while also sealing all other potential entry points. This process of eviction and exclusion is the only effective and permanent solution when bats in a building are unwanted. Read more on how to make and install your own one-way exits. Much of the material here has been gained from Bat Conservation International.
Trapping and relocating is ineffective since bats have powerful homing instincts and will simply return, even when released at great distances. The use of pesticides against bats is illegal and counterproductive, and greatly increases the likelihood of bats coming into contact with people and pets. Naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs, and ultrasonic devices are often promoted as bat repellents. Ultrasonic devices have proven ineffective, however, and naphthalene, to be effective, would have to be used in such large quantities that it would pose a significant health hazard to humans.
Credits: Bat Conservation International
If you need help evicting bats from your home, or if you’d like to take preventative measures to keep them out, use our office finder to contact your local Critter Control office - or call 1-800-CRITTER (274-8837).
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