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Bat Removal & Exclusion

bat removal

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:

  1. Close the bat off from other rooms, insuring that it is in a room with a door or a window that can be opened to the outside
  2. Open all doors and windows in that room to the outside
  3. Leave the interior lights on, and turn off outside lights where you can (This, of course, works best at night.)
  4. Either leave the room or stand or sit motionless against a wall as far from the opening as possible
  5. Patiently wait, as the bat will eventually fly around the room using its echolocation skills to find an escape route

(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)

  1. Put on a pair of heavy leather gloves (the thicker, the better)
  2. Have ready a wide-mouthed plastic container
  3. Approach the bat slowly from the side and place the container over the bat taking care not to mash its legs or wings in the process (These are very light and fragile creatures with very tiny bones in the legs and wings)
  4. Slide a piece of stiff paper or light cardboard beneath the container and the wall. (Do so slowly to allow the bat to freely turn loose of the wall)
  5. Take the container outdoors, and hold the opening against a tree or rough surface at least four to six feet above the ground
  6. Have someone close the openings to the house, then slowly slide the “lid” away
  7. After the bat has taken hold of the outdoors surface remove the container and leave the area, allowing the bat to fly away when it is ready

IMPORTANT  NOTES

  • Bats cannot take flight from the ground; they have to fall momentarily until they gather enough air beneath their wings to actually fly. If a bat is found on the floor or on the ground leave it alone, especially if it seems listless and doesn’t attempt to crawl off as you approach. It may be injured or diseased. If it must be removed from the site for any reason (for the safety of children or pets, for example), then be sure to use heavy leather gloves and a container.
  • If a person is bitten or scratched by a bat, then try to capture and save that bat for use by medical personnel in determining the need for and type of medical care that is appropriate. Thoroughly wash the area with warm, soapy water, and seek medical evaluation and care as soon as possible. (This is the same thing that you should do for ANY wild animal bite or scratch, not just bats)
  • Many bat species are listed as being endangered by Federal law. ALL bats, regardless of whether or not they are an endangered species, are protected by various State and Federal wildlife laws because of their significant economic importance to man. To avoid fines that can range into the tens of thousands of dollars, only trained, licensed and properly insured personnel should be employed to exclude any bat colonies.

 

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

 

Organization for Bat Conservation www.BatConservation.org

The Organization for Bat Conservation is dedicated to protecting bats, other wildlife, and the ecosystems they need to survive.

 

Bats in and Around Your Home 

www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-9088.pdf

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, publication

 

Criteria for Successful Bat Houses     BatHouseCriteria.pdf

 

Lone Star Woodcraft (bat houses)   www.LoneStarWoodcraft.com

 

Attracting Bats (to a new bat house)

http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/attractingbats.pdf

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