Bats are amazing animals. Without them, our ecosystem would be out of balance. Every bat eats thousands of insects nightly. During the day, bats roost, allowing food to digest. This allows them to lower their metabolisms and conserve energy while they sleep.
Although bats are incredible and have earned their spot as protected animals at the state and federal level, you don’t want to share a home with them. That’s why it’s vital to learn more about the bats that may be roosting in your home or building. The more you know, the easier it will be to remove them from your property.
What is a Bat Entry Point?
An entry point is where someone or something can enter a space. For bats, entry points can be smaller than an inch in diameter. What humans may see as a small crack, tear, rip, or break in a building, bats see as an entryway.
Bats are not able to create an entry point. They aren’t strong enough to do so. They have clever ways of getting indoors, however. As bats fly at night, scooping insects into their mouths and wings, they search for places to roost. As they pass by your home, barn, or shed, they use temperatures to determine where to stay.
Bats like warmth while they roost, and small cracks and holes around your home allow heat to escape. Bats feel even the slightest bit of heat and follow it inside, where they will locate a beam or other part of the structure for roosting.
It can be challenging to find bat entry points due to their small size. Some may be in locations you cannot access physically or see just by looking. Therefore, hiring an expert is recommended.
How Do I Know if Bats Are in My House?
Unless you have a colony of bats roosting in your attic making noise or flying in and out of your home, you may have to look for signs commonly left behind by bats. For example, bat guano, or droppings, is easy to spot.
Bat guano is usually black or brown, and because it contains uric acid, it stains any material it lands on. You may see guano streaks running down siding or wood on the sides of homes or buildings. Even while bats are roosting, their guano runs down their body and into a pile below. The piles can get quite large, making them very noticeable.
Seeing guano directly on the ground signifies that bats are roosting above. Look around windowsills, voids in ceilings and rafters, and structural beams.
Bats are small and they can pack themselves into tiny spaces when they roost. They can go unnoticed by someone with little experience. Calling a wildlife control operator for an inspection takes the guesswork out of locating bats. Experts can also show you exactly how and why bats choose your property.
How Do Bats Get Into Your House?
To understand how bats get into a house or how bats get into an attic, you must learn more about building structures. The outside of your home is a barrier to the inside. A break in that barrier allows a bat indoors. Below is a list of places to check for entry points on your property:
The most common way bats enter your home is through broken attic vents or screens.
Soffits are the materials that connect your home’s exterior walls to the planks that hang underneath your eaves. Without soffits, the rafters and beams of your home would be open and exposed. Soffits may occasionally detach in small areas, or wildlife such as woodpeckers and squirrels may break or tear them. This gives a bat just enough space to enter your home.
Fascia boards are bands or strips of materials. They serve many purposes, including holding gutters in place and closing off the ends of rafters. They are usually wood strips strong enough for adhering gutters, soffits, and roofing materials. Improper installation or damage due to the elements can leave small openings that bats may enter.
Roofs with shingles will have ridge vents along the roof’s peak. The ridge vent allows heat and humidity to exit the house. This heat will attract bats looking for a warm place to roost. If the vent is damaged or cracked, bats will use it as an entry point.
Gable vents are decorative, allowing air to flow into the attic to cool it down when the temperatures are warm. Homeowners can adjust gable vents based on how much air they want to enter the home. Open vents provide the perfect entry point for bats and other wildlife.
Roof Returns or Eaves
Decorative materials may be used during the building process to attach a roof to the side walls of the home. The construction of these materials as well as the condition of returns may determine how well they hold up to weather conditions. Poor construction can leave entry points for bats.
Chimneys are like hallways for animals. Bats can quickly fly in and out of chimneys and roost on bricks or rocks used to construct the chimney. When not in use, chimneys should be fitted with chimney caps to seal the area and prevent bats, birds, and rodents from entering your home. Caps can also prevent debris from drifting into your chimney. Debris that gets stuck can create a fire hazard.
Siding, whether wall panels or corners, can be damaged by weather over time or by a random rock thrown by a lawn mower. Nuisance wildlife may also cause damage. If it is not installed correctly, wall panels can buckle. Any of these scenarios give bats the perfect opportunity to use your home as a roost.
What to Know About Bat Removal
If you think you have bats roosting on your property, contact a wildlife expert for help with removal. They understand the laws and regulations you must follow, like the following:
- Bats cannot be disturbed during hibernation.
- Bats cannot be removed or harassed during the mating season.
- Pups must be able to fly out on their own.
- Local regulations may require testing for diseases.
Most importantly, experts know the exclusion methods that work to keep bats from roosting in your home in the future.