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General Bat Information

Bats often fly around swimming pools, from which they drink or catch insects. White lights commonly used for porch lights, building illumination and parking-lot lights, may attract insects, which in turn attract bats. Bats commonly enter buildings through openings associated with the roof vents, chimneys, eaves, louvres, dryer vents, turbines, soffits and siding. Other openings may be found under loose fitting doors, around windows, gaps around various conduits that pass through walls, and through utility vents.

Bats are able to squeeze through narrow gaps and cracks. For purposes of bat management, one should pay attention to any gap of approximately 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches or a hole 5/8 x 7/8. Such openings must be considered potential entries for at least the smaller species, such as the little brown bat. The smaller species require an opening no wider than 3/8 inch, that is, a hole the diameter of a US 10-cent coin. Openings of these dimensions are not uncommon with new homes or in older wood frame structures where boards have shrunk, warped, or otherwise become loosened.

The discovery of 1 or 2 bats in a house is a frequent problem. Common in urban areas, they often enter homes through open windows or unscreened fireplaces. If chimneys are selected for summer roosts, bats may fall or crawl through the open damper into your home. Sometimes bats may appear in a room, then disappear by crawling under a door to another room, in a vent, hallway, or closet. They may also disappear behind curtains, wall hangings, bookcases, under beds, into waste baskets, and behind pictures. Locating and removing bats from a living quarters can be laborious but is important. Since bats may hibernate in the cooler recesses of heated buildings, they may suddenly appear in midwinter during a warm spell as they move about to adjust to the temperature shift.

Facts About Bats

  • There are more than 1250 species of bats, which count for more then 1/4 of all mammal species.
  • Bats are found on almost every continent except for Antarctica.
  • A new specie of bats found in Vietnam was documented in February of 2012.
  • Bats are the only mammals that can fly
  • Bats are the slowest reproducing mammals in existence.
  • The bat species generally only give birth to one pup a year.
  • The most common bat in North America is the Little Brown Bat.
  • Bats can eat 1,000 mosquito's an hour or three times their body weight.
  • The Little Brown Bat can live up to 30+ years in the wild.
  • The bat species use a sonar system called "echolocation" to navigate through the night and to find their food source.
  • Most bats dine on night flying insects.
  • There are 4 species of bats that do not feed on insects. Bats play a huge part in the pollination of certain plants by feeding on the nectar and fruit. The bats play a big part in the pollination of agave plants and the cacti in the desert areas. They also provide a source of seed dispersal in the desert areas so the ecosystem can continue to survive in the harsh climate.
  • The ecosystem of the desert rely on bats that are nectar feeding to pollinate the giant cacti of the southwest.
  • There are over 20 Million Mexican Free Tailed Bats that reside in San Antonio, Texas. They will eat over 200 TONS of bugs in a single night.
  • In parts of the USA where we have cold weather conditions the bats will retreat into hibernation in mines, caves, or even an attic area of a home or business.
  • Bat Guano is collected and processed to make fertilizer and sold to farmers. It is rich in nitrogen & phosphorous.

Some Diseases directly transmitted by Bats

  • Rabies
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Ebola
  • Marburg
  • Nipah
  • Hendra
  • Bat Flu
  • SARS Coronavirus
  • Lyssaviruses

Damage

The types of damage bats can cause to a building:

Spread of Disease. Bats, like other animals, can carry rabies. And although bats rarely bite humans, the risk of bat bites frightens many people away from areas inhabited by bats. Along with the risk of rabies, bat guano carries the spores for Histoplasmosis, a disease mainly affecting the lungs of humans, especially those with immunity disorders, the elderly, and the very young.

Introduction of Bat Mites. Bat mites, often mistaken for bed bugs, will often make you their new hosts. Pest control exterminators confuse these for bed bugs, will treat a building, only to be called back time and again because the bugs were killed, but with the presence of bats, new ones took their place and the infestation began all over again.

Structural Damage. Bats do not chew on buildings. However, their guano and urine will accumulate over time, resulting in electrical issues and waste dripping through ceilings, ruining insulation, and soaking through sheet rock or particle board, eventually causing the interior of the structure to collapse.

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Bats