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Bat Control Measures For A House

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Identifying Bats

Bats are some of the most misinterpreted wildlife. When it comes to environmental benefits, bats do not receive a lot of credit. However, they serve as pollinators, seed-dispersers and help to control pests. North America is home to 45 species of bats, three of which are common in the Triangle area. Using echolocation or bio sonar, bats can find their way into the tiniest spaces. These mammals are mysterious in appearance and typically are only seen at night. They are often feared by humans, which contributes to threats to their population worldwide. Bats in the Triangle are known to form colonies in their chosen roosting areas. While in search of dark and quiet places to raise their young, bats are known to invade attics in the summertime. Each species of bat is unique and poses its own challenge for people

While bats may be fascinating creatures when they’re OUTSIDE your house, it’s necessary to know if they are IN your house. Here are some tell tale clues.

Bat droppings, or guano, can be found on the sides of your house, in attics or under the eaves. Unlike rodent droppings, which are typically dispersed, bat droppings are found in clumps and may contain insect parts.

Bats roost on the outside of the house.

A scratching noise that comes from the attic—day or night, as the bat or bats attempt to find their way out.

High pitched squeaks coming from your attic, eaves or walls.

A strong smell from the attic (from the bat droppings).

Bats fly around the outside of your home or out of your chimney at dusk.

Bat Habitats

Typically found in caves, bats can live in almost any feasible shelter. As their natural habitats diminish, many bat species choose to live in homes or storage-type buildings. It is also common for bats to roost in attics or caves. The big brown and little brown bat species of North Carolina often make noises upon exiting their roost. They also tend to have a musky odor and commonly leave droppings underneath their roosting area

Bats are great to have around your home as they eat almost 100% of their body weight every night. And sure—bats aren’t the biggest creatures, weighing in around half an ounce each—but, they live together in large groups, so the numbers add up quickly. Each night, they cut back the number of nasty mosquitos and other insects to bother you during the pleasant spring and summer nights.

Say you see the droppings but never the bats—you may be asking yourself where they roost during the day. Typically, they roost and forage in the trees and areas around neighborhoods where the insects are the worst. If you aren’t sure if they are around your home, try sitting on your porch or in your backyard in the early evening and keep an eye on the street lights. You can often find them flitting between the lights as they start their insect hunting for the night.


There are more than 1,100 different species of bats in the world, living on every continent except Antarctica. Each one has developed special adaptations for how it lives and what it eats. For example, 70% of all the bats in the world eat insects and many of them use echolocation in order to find food and move around in the dark. Many small insectivorous bats can eat up to 2,000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. These bats are able to eat so much because they have high metabolisms and expend lots of energy in flight.

Bats are beneficial. Worldwide, bats are a major predator of night-flying insects, including pests that cost farmers billions of dollars annually. Throughout the tropics, seed dispersal and pollination activities by bats are vital to rain forest survival. In addition, studies of bats have contributed to medical advances including the development of navigational aids for the blind.

Contact With Bats

If you are bitten by a bat — or if infectious material (such as saliva) from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound — wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical advice immediately. Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.

People usually know when they have been bitten by a bat. However, because bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen, there are situations in which you should seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. For example, if you awaken and find a bat in your room, see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.

Capturing a Bat

If a bat is present in your home and you cannot rule out the possibility of exposure, leave the bat alone and contact an animal-control agency for assistance.

How to control pests in your attic

Have you heard noises coming from your attic just after dusk? Possibly something scurrying around while you’re trying to fall asleep? You may be harboring pests in your attic.

Not only can pests keep you up at night, but they can also be responsible for property damage and they can cause health problems.

Common attic pests

Squirrels. Although squirrels typically live in tree cavities, they have been known to seek out attic space when the temperature drops. They can damage you home, building nests and creating openings. They also leave behind, body dust, feces and urine, which can cause damage or transmit disease.

Bats. Bats are able to squeeze through openings as small as 1/2 inch. Bats live in colonies and once they take up residence usually stick to the familiar space year round. A buildup of bat feces can cause illness. They have also been known to carry diseases.

Mice. Mice can fit through even smaller openings, needing only 1/4-inch gap to enter a structure. Mice can damage structures by making nests defecating and urinating. They are also disease carriers.

Rats. Rats can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter. They may also gain energy to your attic by chewing through wood, siding and drywall. Rat infestations can cause damage to your home and gardens. They also transmit diseases through the pests they carry and the feces, urine and body dust they leave behind.

Raccoons. Raccoons typically sneak through poorly screened vents and eave gaps to gain access to attic spaces. However, they have also been known to rip right through roofing materials in order to gain entry. Like all other rodents, raccoons leave behind waste, carry disease and may cause damage to your home.

Insects and arachnids. Ants, flies, cockroaches, spiders, stink bugs and more may have snuck into your attic looking for a warm place to overwinter at the end of fall. Like, rodents they leave behind body dust and droppings everywhere they crawl. They can also transmit pathogens via food contamination.

Identifying attic pests

The first step to controlling pests that have taken up residence in your attic is identifying which type of pest you’re sharing your space with.

During the day when most attic pests are inactive, take a look around your attic to determine what’s living up there. If you don’t notice any critters, look for other signs of their presence — damage to your attic, entrance gaps, scat, nests. By evaluating what your particular pest left behind, you can come closer to identifying what’s living in your attic.

Pest control experts tackling bats found inside home attics

People aren’t the only ones trying to stay warm during this winter season, bats are too and they have pest control experts busy right now.

It’s that time of year…temperatures are colder which means bats are looking for warm places to stay and that could be your house

“They actually will purposely hibernate in an attic space, if that’s available to them, they’ll be in there all summer long and when the winter comes they’ll bury themselves in the instillation and stay quiet until the warm weather shows up,” Christopher explained.

“An attic is a kind of like a cave that’s insulated, so if they’re able to get up there and tell their friends about it, one bat, two bats, three bats, turn into dozens and dozens,” Christopher noted. Christopher said people underestimate the dangers of bats getting inside houses.

“Piles of bat droppings, you could be breathing it in without even knowing it…They’re acidic, they also cause things like histoplasmosis, respiratory issues. So if you’re getting the bats out that’s great but you also want to get rid of what they left behind,” Christopher explained.

Attic Pest Removal: How to Get Rid of Overhead Guests

Attic pest removal can seem like Groundhog Day — the movie, not the holiday. No sooner do you shoo away pests that make your attic their home sweet home, than the little buggers sneak back inside.

Know thy Enemy

Wild animals living in your attic can cause damage — chew through electrical wires, shred insulation — and spread diseases, such as hantavirus and salmonella. To rid your attic of these pests, you must know exactly which critter has become your housemate. To identify — then kill or trap — the animal, you must learn to identify the shape, size, and pattern of its scat.

provides a little cheat sheet on pest poo.

Mouse: 1/8 inch long, pellet-shaped

Rat: ¼ inch long, sausage-shaped

Squirrel: ½ to 1 inch long, sausage-shaped

Raccoon: Up to ¾ of an inch wide, 2-3 inches long; sausage-shaped

Bat: ½ inch, pellet-shaped, found in piles

Once you identify the scat, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s advice on how to clean it up. Here are a few tips:

Open windows to air out the infested area for at least 30 minutes before cleanup. Don’t hang around during this part.

Wear protective gloves and masks so you don’t touch or breathe the urine- and feces-contaminated dust.

To disinfect, spray the area with a bleach solution (1 part bleach; 10 parts water).

Use paper towels to clean up the area, and then dispose of trash in a sealed plastic bag.