Despite all of their benefits to man, bats will occasionally gain access to a home or other building where they are quite understandably NOT welcome. To find them flying around in a bedroom can be disconcerting. Their presence in a zoological park may be an appreciated wonder, but few would want them flying around or roosting inside a church, school or business.
Bats are misunderstood creatures thought of by many as being nothing more than “stupid flying mice”. How unfortunate! Bats are not disease-ridden vermin responsible for massive human health problems. These are actually very gentle animals that should be respected for their benefits to man.
Most people realize that bats eat a lot of bugs, but few realize that those species that do so will eat from a third to half their weight in these pests every night. Some bats are strictly fruit-eaters, and they are solely responsible for the pollination of 70 percent of the fruit that we eat. Without bats, we would not have bananas, cashews and several other foods that we love. In the United States bats are the major natural predator of many crop pests – the ONLY predator of some. These include noctuid moths, water boatmen, fall armyworms, midges, corn earworm moths and cucumber beetles.
In their natural environment, bats can live over twenty-five years, though in captivity their life span will rarely exceed one to three years. A bat is actually an intelligent mammal that, like dolphins and whales, communicates within their species through predictable vocalizations – what we think of as speech. They are as capable at navigation as are many birds that migrate hundreds of miles to and from the same locations.
The only long-term solution to keeping bats out of your building is by “exclusion”. This is the process of sealing all access points after first enabling the bats to leave the space while not being able to regain entry. The use of bright lights, smoke, ultrasonic noise makers, moth balls or dog and cat spray repellants, for example, are temporary measures at best, and can actually cause harm, not only to the bats, but also the building and its other occupants.
All openings that may allow bats to regain entrance to a building must be properly sealed if bats are to be successfully excluded. These animals will immediately begin to seek re-entry. If they are not able to return to that roost, then they will diligently search for another one as close to the old one as possible, and most often will find a new home within a few hundred feet of the entrance to their familiar grounds. The longer the colony inhabited the old home, the more likely they will relocate nearby.
Bats can move through an opening as small as three-eights of an inch in diameter. They are opportunists that do not create openings but, instead, search for cracks, knotholes or passageways made by other animals such as birds or squirrels. For this reason, the right products and procedures must be incorporated to insure that the sealed openings will not be reopened.
Horror story: A school district in Northwest Arkansas paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to have bats excluded and one area of a classroom building cleaned of feces and urine-soaked insulation, only to be faced with having to pay to have bats removed again less than five years later.
The contractor had simply used the wrong materials and procedures to close off the openings; most were improperly prepared and poorly staled. Not only were many soon reopened by birds and squirrels but also by normal expansion and contraction of the metal roofing. The bats promptly returned, but not before finding new harborage throughout other areas of the building.
This is only one of many good reasons to use the services only of competent, experienced, well-referenced professionals like Nix ‘Em Outdoors who provide written performance guarantees and deliver service after the sale without hesitation.
Nix ‘Em Outdoors provides bat exclusion services,
bat houses for the relocation of these displaced animals,
and educational awareness programs and other valuable resources
for school, civic groups, and the public in general.
Our primary goal in the exclusion of bats is to do so to the satisfaction of our individual clients while causing no harm to these animals.
Being a licensed, insured and bonded Commercial Pest Control company, we stand on the cutting edge of technology and routinely contribute to the public through the development of new hardware and procedures for the industry. Among our licensure is that for “Research and Demonstration” (projects), a certification held by relatively few.
We are an active supporting member of Bat Conservation International and Bat World Sanctuary, and also a life member of the Dallas Ecological Foundation, the largest organization of its type in the world.
Removal of Individual Bats
You may be able to return a bat to the wild if it has entered your home or business without the need for professional intervention. Be careful, though. Don’t get hurt, and try not to hurt the bat. As a general rule, bats are a bit like ghosts in that they won’t hurt you, but the idea of their presence can certainly lead to you to hurting yourself. Standing on a stepladder, a chair or some other piece of furniture to reach a bat is highly discouraged. Too many people get spooked and jump or fall, only to suffer an injury when attempting to capture or shoo a bat.
If a single bat has entered your home or other structure, then these steps may be followed to return it to the wild:
(Do not try to wave at or herd the bat, and don’t move around, as you will only confuse the animal and delay its escape.)
If the bat is at rest on a wall (usually high, and possibly behind blinds, curtains or something hanging on the wall)
BAT RESOURCE INFORMATION
Bat Conservation International www.Batcon.org
Bat Conservation International’s mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems in order to ensure a healthy planet.
Bat World Sanctuary www.Batworld.org
The mission of Bat World Sanctuary is
▪ To provide permanent sanctuary for non-releasable bats
▪ The protection and conservation of wild bat colonies
▪ To promote humane treatments of bats in captivity
▪ To educate the public about the importance of bats
The Organization for Bat Conservation is dedicated to protecting bats, other wildlife, and the ecosystems they need to survive.
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, publication