Why Are Bats Living With Me?


They are living with you because your home affords them a better place to live than they can find outdoors. Their natural nesting places would be in tree hollows or under bridges etc. If they are in your home it means you have a rat or squirrel hole in the soffit, a gap in the eave some other desirable looking place to fly into. They prefer holes about the size of a quarter or a gap about a half inch wide and the way our homes are built today there are usually many such openings. Actually living with and around people is better than living in the wild. People clear the land which removes obstacles from their flying paths and people attract bugs. We plant flowers that attracts moths (a favorite Bat food) and mosquitoes (another favorite Bat food) like to feed on people.

Are they “good guys or bad guys”? The answer to this all depends on where you live. In Tango Africa they are considered physical magnifications of soles. In some Chinese cultures they are a sign of longevity and in pre-Columbia cultures there were considered Gods. In today’s western world they are often symbols of a foreboding nature and are often represented by villains like Dracula. To the question “are they good guys” the answer is definitely yes. About 75% of all the Bat species feed on insects and every night a single bat can consume up to 1/3 of it’s on body weight. Think of how valuable they are in this way, a 1,000 Bats will consume about four (4) tons of insects a year and there are literally millions and millions of Bats.

Bats are mammals and like all mammals the young supple milk. Some species are able to fly in as little as 6 to 8 weeks while others are left hanging for up to four months until their wings have developed well enough for them to forge on their own. The females usually has only one offspring a year and some species can become pregnant in the fall and not allow her body to develop the egg until spring, some even delay the implantation of the egg until condition are favorable.

About 70% feed on insects and most of the remaining species eat fruits. Some eat vertebrates (lizards and frogs) and of the over 1,100 species world wide only three species feed on blood. These are called Vampire Bat and contrary to what you might hear they preferred to feed on domesticated cattle, not people.

Here in the Gulf Coast area many of the Bats you are likely to encounter will be the Mexican Free Tail Bats. These Bats are on the endangered species list and cannot be killed. The government’s mandate of not being able to kill never sits well with 토토사이트 those who hear them screeching all night or have to live with the stench from their droppings. There are no pesticides registered to kill Bats which leave exclusion as the only method of control. Excluding Bats from a structure involved the use of devices which allows the bats out of their nesting site but “not back inside”. Bat funnels and netting are the two most common such devices. The funnels are installed over their entry holes with the small opening away from the structure. This allows the bats to escape but are not able to find the small opening to regain access. The nets work on the same principle in that they allow the Bats out but not back in. Both the nets and the funnels are able to work because Bats do not climb. Bats fly directly into or cling to the edge of the access point before going through the opening. Once inside the roosting cavity they fly to their nest site.

Getting the Bats out of a structure is only half the job. Once the Bats have been removed now you have to take steps to keep them or other Bats from coming back home, their home. Closing up their entry places is the hard part because not only do you have to close up the exact points of entry you also have to close up any hole or crack close to the nest site. The Guano droppings they have deposited, inside your home, will act as an attractant to other Bats who may be looking for a place to live, the smell will be an invitation for other Bats to move right in. Who knows, one of your neighbors may have just excluded Bats from their house or building last night and their Bats, like your Bats, are now looking for a new home. Sealing up the entry openings can be closed up with caulking, screen wire, wood, metal, plastic or concrete etc. The key is not what you use but to make sure any opening as small as a dime is sealed.

Earlier I mentioned Bat Guano. If the Bats have been living with you for over a month or longer you should seriously consider having the Guano removed. It is a health hazard. Whomever you hire must be told why they are tearing off the siding, soffit or sheetrock so they can wear the proper protective equipment. You should also make sure the company has Workers Compensation Insurance to protect you and your family from a law suit arising from a worker becoming infected with a Bat related disease.

Bats are know to carry a large number or zoonotic pathogens. Some of these diseases are Severe Acute Respiratory Virus (SARS), Henipavurus, and Rabies. Many species carry diseases but never show any signs they are infected. If you find a Bat, alive or dead, inside or outside our home or business you should not attempt to pick it up or “shoo” it out of the building. Call your local animal control center immediately. They will remove the animal and test it for Rabies.

Bats are good business. We are not allowed to kill them, we can only exclude them from your home or business. We hope they find a nice new home under a bridge of in a tree hollow but in reality they most likely will simply fly down the street to your neighbor’s property.

To maintain good neighborly relations, we will not tell your neighbors the Bats now infestation their home or business just came from your property! Did I tell you Bats are good business!

Don Nettles is President of Nettles Exterminating, a Houston based pest control company in business since 1968. Don is an Associate Certified Entomologist, an activist when it comes to saving the environment and directed his company into the GREEN/ECO-FRIENDLY way of thinking long before it was popular. He and his wife, Cynthia, still work daily in the business and while the company has grown substantially they still think of themselves as a “family owned” business. Don can be heard on CBS/CNN hosting and producing the radio show “Community Spotlight”

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