Skunk Whisperer Media Appearances


Bat Exclusion – Attic Bats Removal From The Home

bat-exclusion-home-removalIf you have bats in your living quarters, attic or business, you do not have a bat problem but rather you have a building problem. We frequently take care of this type of problem, and it is one of our favorite wildlife control issues to deal with. It doesn’t matter if you have one bat or three thousand in your building – the procedure and price to evict them is typically the same. attic-bat-guano-problemBreeding seasons vary by region, but in Oklahoma, if you have bats in your home or business, it is important that we evict them prior to when they give birth in the Spring. Time is of the essence – if we wait too long, we must wait until around August 15th to exclude them forever. However, even if you have waited too long, we can still take temporary measures to keep bats out of your office or living area. Bats inside are dangerous, so take action immediately. Scheduling prior to August 15th may avoid a full agenda.

If you do have bats in your house, especially if you’ve seen any in living areas, there are important safety concerns you will need to know about – including how to handle both dead and live bats. You’ll want to be sure to visit our sections on bat rabies and safety, guano diseases and proper handling. In Oklahoma, the types of bats that you will likely encounter are big brown, small brown, and Mexican free-tailed bats.

Once bats have invaded, don’t waste time, colonies can grow 2 to 3 times larger each year. Completion of the bat removal process is seasonally limited, but we can start to tackle the problem now with building preparations and interim living area proofing measures. Once the proper season arrives, (not between late spring and mid-August) we can complete the removal process, also known as a bat eviction or bat exclusion. The seasonal eviction restriction is because bat pups will die and smell if the mother is evicted.

eviction-preparationCalls to us regarding bat problems usually start coming in during the middle of the winter these calls are almost always big brown bats. Big brown bats “wake up” in the middle of winter warm spells sometimes, and stumble into your living quarters or offices. When spring comes around, bat eviction requests start to come in once again, and do not stop until it cools off in the fall. Why? In the fall, your bats were breeding. In the spring, they start to have their babies. If you are a parent, you know that you want to get away from your children, well at least occasionally, that is what the bats are doing.

Bats cannot typically be excluded from the attic or home during the summer because the babies will not leave on their own until mid-August. And baby bats must leave on their own accord. The adult bats will exit, but because they do not understand that they will not be able to get back in, they will leave their babies behind. This is not only bad because the babies will die, but also because of the associated smell. One small brown baby bat will fill a 3,000 square foot home with a smell that compares to a human body sitting in the sun for three days being plopped on your coffee table. This smell will efficiently relocate you, your family, or office to a hotel, place of shelter or less desirable location.

If you’ve discovered bats during a time of year they cannot be evicted, not to worry. You don’t have to live in fear of the winged creatures until exclusion is completed. This is because it’s possible to proof a building to keep bats out of the living areas during the interim waiting period – that way you can sleep better at night.

You can do the work, or we can. We treat your home, business and pocketbook like it was our own, but it is up to you who performs this work. We’ve prepared a proofing guide should you want to do it yourself.

Keeping Bats Restricted To The Attic: Interim Bat Proofing The Home Living Areas Prior To Exclusion

Do You Have Bats Hanging Out And Living Behind Your Shutters?

bat proof shuttersBats living behind shutters are a very common problem. Some see this as a benefit. Our preferred method to get rid of bats roosting behind shutters is to alter the way they are anchored to the house. This is labor and sometimes material intensive, but the only good solution in our opinion besides removing the shutters forever.

We are aware of several professionals in our industry who rent U-Haul trucks once a year before bat season starts and go around and remove shutters from their bat removal client homes, place the shutters in storage and reinstall them when it gets cold again. We would much rather provide a longer term solution with a return on investment.

Please note the photographs of a shutter that has been altered to make it unappealing for bats. Note that we simply “staged” the shutter to appear as though it is partially opened. Although it is more hardware and labor intensive, we can also use custom hardware to match your décor which will allow the shutters to hinge open and closed. Even if your shutters are not currently functional and will never completely cover the windows, this will allow you or us to partially open or flush mount them to the wall during bat season and colder months.

The use of expanded foam, screening, metal or wood trim and other methods to exclude bats from behind shutters not only looks horrible, it typically also makes the problem much worse. Once you have cleaned up the mess a home owner made after using “great stuff” expanding foam on brick, stucco and wood siding with a power washer, a scraper and a day of sanding and painting, as well as doing rotten wood replacement (foam retains water and inhibits wood rot), you will understand why we are passionate about properly bat proofing shutters in a manner that naturally repels them due to the lack of privacy and darkness and the increase of air flow.

shutters bat proofedSimilar to free roosting bats and feeding roost bats (see below), bats behind shutters are a more appealing problem than having a colony of bats in your attic to deal with. Think before removing your shutters or disturbing the bats behind them. These winged insect eaters may invite their friends and form a colony in your attic…they found your shutters cozy, how much more appealing is your attic to them? They can fit through areas ¼” by ½”… your attic is a few feet away.

Several clients who had us bat proof their house, years later eventually had bats occupy the backside of their shutters, as promised. Some of these clients simply allow the bats to utilize it as their bat house and ask us to treat that area on a monthly basis to reduce their bat bug population so it does not get out of hand. Some of these bat removal clients had us make “guano shields” to have the guano land in different areas. Shutters are more appealing and attractive than bat houses to most people, and therefore are seen as a benefit to many of our bat exclusion clients. Of course, there are other bat removal clients who years later requested that we permanently removed their shutters or excluded the bats from behind them by remounting them in a manner that makes them look partially open.

A word of warning to the home owner who decides to practice do it yourself bat removal from shutters – do not remove shutters from a building during bat baby pup season. If you think having bats behind your shutters is a bad thing, imagine for a moment having a hundred baby bat pups flapping around and crawling all over your lawn. This is what will happen if you remove shutters with a maternity bat colony behind it.

Other Aspects Of The Eviction Process

If You Find “Mouse Droppings” by Your Door, It May Be Bat Guano

Every year we receive incredible numbers of calls with complaints about mouse droppings outside of people’s homes and businesses. Upon investigation these “mouse droppings” very frequently turn out to be bat feces. Bat feces is called guano. Imagine for a moment, (because most people don’t want to do it), picking up a handful of this guano and gently crushing it in the palm of your hand. If this is done outdoors under sunlight you will see hundreds of sparkly and shiny things in the guano. These are all insect eyes and wings; this is why we always say bats are good, bats in the house are bad. Guano primarily consists of the hundreds and thousands of insects bats consume every evening.

The most common area for bat guano to be seen for the first time by home owners will be underneath wall mounted speakers in the corner of their front or back porch, as well as behind shutters and outdoor televisions. These areas are darker and cozy areas that bats like too tuck themselves into during the daytime.

Feeding Roost Bats: “I See Bat Guano on the Ground but Not the Bat”

If you find bat guano on the ground or on your deck and you look up and do not see the bat, this is referred to as a “feeding roost”. A feeding roost is a location desirable to bats to come on a nightly basis to digest their food, urinate, defecate and leave by dawn. Free roosting bats are much more common in areas where home or business owners leave the lights on at night. Turning lights on will not scare or repel bats, it will attract them. Bats are going to be attracted to the light because lights attract insects, therefore that cozy area behind the speaker, shutters or other architectural features will be very appealing to bats. Arched entry ways or porches are borderline irresistible to bats; and your attic is Heaven.

Our company has spent thousands of dollars to find solutions for feeding roost bats. We have repeatedly tested countless alleged do it yourself bat repellants including over two dozen essential oils, natural pesticides, balloons, streamers, cat and dog repellants, ultra sonic bat repellants, ultra sonic bird and other animal repelling units, strobe lights, mint and even tried cancer causing naphthalene moth balls at the owner of The Skunk Whisperer’s home, just to disprove it. We applied these other different things free of charge in an attempt to repel bats that are in a feeding roost situation or a free roost situation which will be explained next. Bat repellants did not work.

We do have a simple remedy for bats hanging out only during the night time behind shutters, speakers and entry ways. Every single situation is totally different so an inspection must be done prior to prescribing the correct remedy. If we make the offending free roosting bats move on – they are obviously going to go somewhere. These bats know your house like the back of their small hand so it would make sense that if we chase them away from where they are in a feeding roost, they may end up in your attic and form a colony. In short, a feeding roost bat or free roosting bat is always a more appealing problem than having a colony of bats in your attic. Please think hard before chasing it away with a broom, baseball bat, tennis racket or hand grenade because all that little guy is doing is helping you reduce your mosquito and insect population and leaving them behind in the form of guano when he is done. We do have ways to make them move on and not hang out there any longer, but we must look at each property before knowing if it will work for certain.

Free Roosting Bats: If You Find Bats Hanging Out On the Exterior of Your House During Daylight Hours

If you find a bat behind your porch speakers or arched entry way, please know this is a very common problem. This does not mean that the bat has rabies or has something wrong with it; it simply means that you have an appealing, cozy area for them to hang out and live in. Although free roosting bats and feeding roost bats may not be appealing, it is always better than having a colony of bats in your attic. But, I always say where there is smoke there is usually fire. If you have bats free roosting on the exterior of your building during bat baby season, it is because male bats (known as bachelor bats) are not allowed inside of a bat maternity colony, which is frequently found in an attic. If you have a free or feeding roost bat during bat birthing season, you will want to perform a proper bat watch to see if you have a colony in your attic or to see if it is your neighbors’ homes they are going to.

Similar to a bat that is in a feeding roost, free roosting bats, if displaced by whatever means, can turn into a colony in your attic if they invite their friends. Most clients agree that a little guano on the ground behind a speaker or in their entry way is more appealing than a hundred bats in the attic. Once again, we have solutions for feeding roost bats and free roosting bats which are very effective as well as cost effective but we must inspect your building before saying that the solution will work.

Save time and money and do not buy ultra sonic bat repelling units or bat repellants. If these things worked we would certainly use them.

Making The Exclusion Last. Before September or birthing season, we can usually perform most of the bat exclusion process, up to, but not including installing the device that will allow all of the now mature bats to leave on their own and never get back in again. We can evict them from the hole they are currently using, but they will still want to get back in. So we must seal almost every place on your home that is 1/4″ plus in size. Once excluded, the temporary precautions that were done indoors, such as the tape and plastic, can be removed. But, we cannot install the bat “check valve” until we know that no babies will be left behind.

How Much Does Bat Exclusion Cost?

A lot of people ask us “how much does a bat exclusion cost”? The answer to this question can vary because the situation is actually a building issue, not a bat problem, consequently, prices will differ by home. Your next door neighbor may have the exact same house indoors and out and the price may different depending on the amount of work that is needed. Many of the alterations required to make to your building bat free may also help exclude squirrels, birds, raccoons and rats from invading your home. When we give you a quote, we will also mention service upgrades that will allow for preventative measures and to show you signs and proof if wildlife has compromised your structures integrity. Even a Wildlife Management Professional cannot efficiently remove the bats one by one. Bats will hide in areas that humans cannot reach with any tools or equipment without destruction. Many watches have proven that over 300 total bats were in a structure – but bat exclusion professionals were unable to locate their actual roosting area. Sometimes bats will enter on one side of the house and live on the opposite side, in the wall.

Bat exclusions are typically an incredible amount of work, labor and materials. Bat exclusions can quickly become expensive depending upon the condition and architecture of your home. Bats can fit through any hole that is ¼ inch by ½ inch. That is a very small area. A bat removal professional must also take into consideration that a building can shift and move, therefore holes smaller than ¼ inch by ½ inch are desirable to seal up.

Areas where two different types of building materials come together are common areas that must be sealed during proper bat exclusion. Examples of these areas include shingles needing to be flush with the fascia, where the roof and soffit meet and make a triangle, where brick or stone siding meets up with wood or metal trim, attic roof vents, attic vents towards the peak of the roof line on the siding, can lights and other architectural features. Other common entry points for bats include chimneys, as well as heating and air conditioning vents on the exterior of the building. As you can imagine, this type of work is nothing short of tedious micro-management. Time is money, so you can expect to see bat exclusion prices anywhere between $500 and several thousand dollars. Many people who have bats in their attic will go on the internet and search for “how much does a bat exclusion cost?”, so we know that consumers are shocked when they see bat exclusion prices. It could be worse- sealing up a house for a flying squirrel exclusion, mouse exclusion or scorpion and insect exclusion is even more work- but every building is totally different as well as costs.

faulty-eviction-work-guano
Several insurance companies will pay for damage done by bats. Our attic repair services include removing soiled, damaged materials and installing new insulation for you. Many insurance companies have loopholes that allow your wildlife damage to be covered under your insurance policy. Often wild squirrel and rodent problems are considered acts of God and not covered.

Even if proper techniques and knowledge are utilized to humanely evict bats, it can still fail if quality materials are not used. We encountered this job at a client’s home. Note the cloth bat “cone”. Note the guano below it. Note the dried up and cracked caulking that the bats re-entered. Note the bats are entering via the cone that was supposed to exclude them. High quality supplies and professional products, combined with experience and pride in your work are what will solve bat infestation.


Important Caveat – Bats Attract Snakes

Snakes often enter homes with bats or other rodents, including rats and mice because a bat tastes just as good to a snake as a mouse.

Learn More:

General Information on Snakes    Snake Control and Removal    Snakes in the Attic

Check out these videos of snakes climbing walls. Remember: both bats and rodents can attract snakes into your home.


 

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