There is a lot of fear and misinformation surrounding bats. Old myths about bats being related to vampires cause quite a bit of fear around these creatures. And while it’s true that bats can bite, and they can spread disease such as rabies, this doesn’t mean that they are vampire-like creatures we should fear when outside. Bats will rarely attack a human unless provoked.
Bats are nocturnal mammals that roost in dark areas of buildings, such as attics, belfries, and under fascia boards, and in other sheltered areas like caves. They are known to fly from their secluded nests at dusk to get food and return just before daylight.
The most common bats in California include the little brown and big brown bat. They are quite similar in appearance and behavior, and as you can gather from their name, big brown bats are the larger of the two. And while bats do get a bad rap, they are an important part of our ecosystem.
The upside of bats
Bats are nature's insect control. They eat mosquitoes all night long, and also binge on moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges, mayflies, and other insects. The little brown bat – one of the most common bats in North America – is known to catch up to 600 insects an hour.
Bats are also pollinators. They move pollen grains from flower to flower, which helps to pollinate flowers and plants, and they distribute the seeds of various kinds of plants.
The downside of bats
Bats may take up residence in your home to raise their young. When they move in, they become a problem on your property, causing damage to your structure and leaving bat droppings throughout your attic and on your home.
Although not typical, bats can spread rabies. This disease can be dangerous for you and for your pets. Bats are usually not aggressive mammals, but as mentioned earlier, they will bite if they are threatened. Never touch a sick or injured bat.
Bat guano (feces) can spread histoplasmosis. This illness primarily affects the lungs; it’s spread by breathing in a fungus that grows in accumulated guano.
Keeping bats out of your home
If there are missing or loose roof tiles, or a loose fascia board where soffits meet your roofline, or vents and chimneys without screening, or other openings, they can provide an entryway for bats to gain access to your home. Bats, like rodents, can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces – as small as a quarter-inch.
You should seal up all openings with caulk or the appropriate exclusion materials. Screening attic vents and openings to chimneys will also help keep bats out.
Although bats can be beneficial to the environment, you don’t want them in your home and attic. If you have bats in your home, do not try and evict them on your own. There are laws that stipulate when you can evict bats, especially if they are roosting with their young. Contact a licensed pest professional like Clark Pest Control to assess the situation.
If you have an issue with bats in your home, call California’s trusted pest management experts, Clark Pest Control, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.