Thanks primarily to years of scary and/or gross stories and pictures of bats, many people misunderstand the flying critters. These creatures serve an important world purpose. Small bats eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects an hour (bigger and/or pregnant bats eat more), and bats that eat fruit contribute to the pollination of flowering plants. So, without bats entirely, we humans would be in a buggy, fruitless world- not such a pleasant situation.
On the other hand, having bats live in your home is also not a good situation. Bat guano and urine can attract insects and produce pretty foul smells. Bats come into attics or walls because, in the summertime, they are attracted to the cool air from air conditioning. Then in wintertime, bats come into homes to hibernate. While they will originally start out in the attics, bats can move down into walls to get closer to heat.
So, this puts people in a catch-22. We should like bats and want them in our neighborhood because they eat bugs (many people are using bats as natural forms of pest control), yet we don’t want them living in our homes. To further this conundrum, it’s illegal to kill bats. So what to do?
Build a bat house
For starters, it’s a good idea to build a bat house on your property. This will give bats a place to live near your house without living in your home. But if you have bats in your home, building a bat house will not convince them to leave your home and move elsewhere. To get them out of your house, you have to be a little more persuasive.
Bats in your attic
To get bats out of your attic, you have to really think it through. If you close up the bats’ doorway while they are inside your attic (as in when they are sleeping during the daytime), you will have a bunch of bats looking for a new escape come nighttime. You can imagine what that will lead to… new “friends” in your home at night. So, you need to close the holes in your attic while the bats are away. If you can’t find the holes yourself, or if you think you’ve closed every space possible but still have bats, call BugMaster. We can find those tiny bat entrances that go unnoticed. Also, you need to conquer your bat problem before the bats hibernate. Now is the time to remove bats from your attic- don’t want until October when the bats begin to stay in your attic all winter.
Bats in your living space
If you have a flying bat who has found his way into your living space, stay calm and put on thick gloves. Then, with your gloved hands, open doors and windows to give the bat an escape. Next try to capture the bat in a net, and release him outside. If you have a sleeping bat in your home, put on gloves, and capture the bat with a shoebox and a piece of paper. Take a look at these illustrations for more detail. If you struggle with either of these, call BugMaster. If you are scratched or bitten by a bat, bring the bat to the heath department for rabies testing, and bring yourself to a doctor. While most bats do not have rabies, it is a deadly disease that should be promptly addressed.
Between their echolocation and environmental purpose, bats can be fascinating with the right perspective. We know they lose their appeal when they live in your attic or home. So if you have a bat problem, call BugMaster so we can help you fix your bat situation before you become sour to these helpful critters.
Call BugMaster to get set up with a fire ant protection, in Daphne, 251-626-6667, or in Mobile, 251-666-4402.
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