There are a wide variety of bat species in the US, though it’s usually the colonizing bat types that cause problems in buildings and require bat removal services. Bats are not flying mice, or rodents for that matter. They are more closely related to shrews or primates.
The bat that we experience most in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana is The Little Brown Bat (sometimes called little brown myotis) (Myotis lucifugus) is a species of the genus Myotis (mouse-eared bats). Bats sometimes get a bad reputation however they are not aggressive, and are very beneficial in eliminating insects. Little brown bats for instance are insectivores and eat their weight in mosquitoes a night; they also eat moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges and mayflies. Bats aren’t blind. They can see just fine, but they also use echolocation as a means of navigating in flight and finding insects through the air. Bats wings are very similar to our hands and arms, thus the scientific name Chiropteran or hand wing. The bones of the hand and finger are elongated and serve to support and move the wing. The hind limbs of bats are modified for landing and hanging upside-down.
Bats become a nuisance when they roost in large numbers in human dwellings. The rapid accumulation of guano (bat droppings) is unsanitary, and serves as a fertile breeding ground for a fungal disease called Histoplasmosis, which is transferable to humans who breathe in the fungal spores. Bats are also known to carry rabies, a viral disease that causes progressive paralysis and death in mammals, including humans. People are most likely to encounter nuisance bats when a roosting colony takes up residence in a building. Attics make excellent habitat for bats to live due to the combination of temperature, light, and humidity. Bats need only a 1/4 inch or more of space to crawl through in order to enter a home or building. Once inside, if the habitat is good, the colony grows until the homeowner notices the bats flying in and out, notices the droppings in the attic, chimney, outside, or even basement (when the droppings fall down the walls). Sometimes a bat will get lost and find its way out of the attic and into the living space. Occasionally a stray bat may also fly into a house. Getting rid of bats requires extensive training and experience!
Bats are classified as a nuisance animal species due to their habits of living in homes and buildings. The most common complaints include the following:
For these reasons, many people wish to have nuisance little brown bats excluded from their property.
Bats living in the attic.
Bats living in the chimney.
Bats roosting on soffits and woodwork.
Bats entering through holes in siding
Bats entering through ridge vents and roof vents.
Bats entering through louver vents.
Bat in the house.
Bat in the basement.
Their fur is normally dark brown and shiny on the back and upper parts with grey like fur underneath. Adults average about 5-14 grams in weight. They can live beyond 10 years but life spans average 6-7 years. Females have 1 pup per year, sometimes twins, born sometime from late June to early July. The female gives birth to 1 pup after a 50-60 day gestation; baby bats grow quickly, at 3 weeks they learn to fly and at 4 weeks they are adult sized.
Little brown bats are most active during dusk and throughout the night. They are insectivores and eat mostly insects particularly mosquitoes. They live in a variety of habitats, both forest and suburban or city areas. During winter it is never a good idea to perform a bat removal or seal up any areas where you expect that you may have had a bat problem due to the fact that the bats may be in hibernation.
Bats prefer to roost in attics. This creates a big problem because bats will defecate and urinate all over the attic. Bat droppings (guano) are a major health hazard. People breathe in the spores from the guano and are at risk of histoplasmosis. The accumulation of bat droppings (guano) in an attic will also cause damage to attic insulation which can be expensive to have replaced. Bats will also roost in an attic where they will then have their pups (baby bats) and if raised successfully they will return every year to breed again.
Little brown bats are a carrier of the rabies virus. If you find a bat in a child’s room and are not sure if they have been bitten or not it’s always a good idea to have the bat tested by your local health department. If you have bats in your attic you may be at risk of histoplasmosis due to an accumulation of droppings (guano) in your attic.
Bat removal is the most difficult of all animal removal jobs. Bats will not respond to repellents, strobe lights, music, mothballs, or ammonia. The only way to get rid of bats is exclusion. Animal Remover provides a full exclusion service to get the bats out safely and humanely.
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