- Guano on the ground outside your structure
- Droppings on attic insulation
- Guano inside your home or attic
- Grease marks at potential entry points
The Preliminary Steps Of A Successful Bat Removal Project
Bat control is a complex process, before bat removal can be done properly, it is important to accurately identify the problem, understand seasonal considerations and implement adequate interim procedures.
If mistakes are made during this part of the process, then your removal project will not be successful and there will likely be safety hazards along the way too. When bat problems occur, always call a qualified professional like The Wildlife Whisperer to get the job done right.
Identifying A Potential Bat Problem
If you see signs that indicate bats may be living inside your home, you will want to call a professional in your area immediately, as the situation could become dangerous if you were to come in direct contact with them.
There are a lot of things that can indicate a bat problem, including that which the non-professional may not think to look for, so we have put together some information for you just on this topic alone.
Once bats have invaded, don't waste time, colonies can grow 2 to 3 times larger with each passing 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.
Understanding Seasonal Considerations
If you have bats in your home or business, time is of the essence. It is important that we evict bats prior to when they give birth in the Spring. Bats cannot be removed or excluded during their "maternity season", which is the time when bats are giving birth and raising their pups. Breeding seasons vary by region, but in Florida, that means bat removal is limited to the time period running between August 16th and April 15. This is a state mandate, that by law must be followed.
Maternity Season Which Runs
From April 15 to August 16
Baby bats, also known as pups, won't be able to fly and leave on their own accord until they reach a certain age. If eviction procedures are completed before the babies are ready to exit, then the adult bats will leave without them. This isn't because the adults are abandoning their young, it's because they do not understand that they will not be able to get back in. Consequently, the babies are inadvertently left behind to die.
One small brown baby bat can 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.
With respect to seasonal considerations, we are often asked ...
"Should I wait until the bat pups can fly
to get started on my bat exclusion?"
Our answer is "no". The biggest mistake people with bats in the attic make is waiting until the bat pups can fly to get started on getting rid of the bats. Even though the actual bat eviction cannot be done until the pups can fly, a reputable company can easily get booked up a few months in advance; so if you wait until the pups are flying, it could push your project into the colder months when bats are not flying. A bat exclusion can take a day or a month, so getting an inspection done now vs. waiting is highly advisable. If the company you are looking at hiring is able to start immediately during peak bat season - there may be a reason for it.
Interim Proofing And Preparations
If you've discovered bats during a time of year they cannot be evicted, not to worry, you won't have to live in fear of the winged creatures until the eviction and exclusion process 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 will also want to be sure and get on the list for services well in advance too, as the bat removal season can get pretty busy and this will help ensure that we will be able to meet your needs in a timely manner.
Bat Removal By Situation
Most individuals typically think of bats as an attic problem, however, they also enjoy settling in behind shutters, hanging out near light sources and warm, snuggly dark spaces. Consequently, they can turn up in all sorts of spaces around and in homes, offices, buildings and other structures, and the bat removal process will therefore vary according to the situation.
Removing Bats From The Attic
Attic bats are a common problem. An attic is warm, cozy and dark - and bats love that. Bat removal includes determining where the bats are getting in and out of your attic and an approximation of just how many there are. Next we prepare a way for the bats to get out (eviction) without getting back in (exclusion). Bats cannot be removed from attics during certain times of the year due to the presence of baby bats.
There are steps we can take to safeguard your living areas during the interim, and we can begin eviction and exclusion preparations any time.
As a matter of fact, we can usually perform most of the bat exclusion process during the interim period - leaving only the installation of the device we call the "check valve" on hold until the required season arrives.
Once the babies mature enough to fly out on their own with the adults, then we can install the check valve and the eviction process can begin.
All of the bats will now be able to leave on their own and never get back in again. This is because during the exclusion process we seal almost every hole or gap on your home that is ¼" or more in size.
Once all of the bats are excluded for good, the temporary precautions that were done indoors, such as the tape and plastic, can then be removed.
And finally, we take care of any guano clean up that may be required to return your attic back to the condition it was in before the bats invaded.
Bats Hanging Out And Living Behind Shutters
Bats 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 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 below 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.
Some homeowners try to use expanded foam products, screening, metal or wood trim and other methods to exclude bats from behind shutters. But not only does this look horrible, it typically makes the problem 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. That is, proofing them in a manner that naturally repels bats due to the lack of privacy and darkness and the increase of air flow.
However, some clients actually use shutters as a more attractive replacement for bat houses, allowing bats to live behind them and enjoying the benefits that bats outside have to offer. Some of these clients have even had us make "guano shields" to have the guano land in different areas rather than below on the ground.
But, when it comes to bats behind shutters, be careful about do-it-yourself removal of the shutters, or even simply trying to shoo the bats away from behind them. Displaced bats will have to find a new place to live and 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 as small as ¼" by ½" and your attic is just a few feet away as a replacement for the shutters.
Baby bats behind a shutter can also be a problem and a likely scenario between late spring and mid-August. 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.
A feeding roost is a location where bats come to roost and feed on a nightly basis to digest their food, urinate, defecate and leave by dawn. Although the bats are not inside your home, the guano and waste they leave behind can become quite a problem.
But please know, as they say, where there is smoke there is usually fire.
If it is bat baby season, that free roosting on the exterior of your building might actually be a male "bachelor" bat. Male bats are not allowed inside the bat maternity colony, which is frequently found in an attic. In other words, if it is the time of the year when bachelor bats have been kicked out, and you see them hanging around, this could mean you have a maternity colony close by - possibly even in your attic.
So, if you have a free or feeding roost bat during bat birthing season, you will want to determine where the maternity colony may be - is it inside your home or is it your neighbors that have the colony in their attic instead.
As is the case with bats behind shutters, if roosting bats are displaced by whatever means, they will likely look for a way to get into your attic as an alternative to the comfortable roosting area you have just evicted them from - and they may invite their friends to join them.
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.
So please think hard before chasing a bat and his buddies away with a broom, baseball bat, tennis racket or hand grenade. It may be that 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.
But when you prefer to get rid of roosting bats outside your home, we have remedies that can help. Every situation is different however, so an inspection must be done prior to prescribing the correct remedy. If we make the offending bats move on, they are obviously going to go somewhere else, so it will be important to perform the proper structure modifications to keep the displaced bats from moving inside your home.
We've put a lot of time into finding bat control methods that are actually effective with respect to controlling roosting bats - and it wasn't easy.
This is because there are a lot of "so called" methods being sold to unsuspecting consumers today including repellants, over the counter essential oils, natural pesticides, balloons, streamers, cat and dog repellants, ultra sonic bat repellants, ultra sonic bird and other animal repelling units, strobe lights and even mint.
We've even experimented with cancer causing naphthalene moth balls at our own homes just to see first hand if they really worked. And to date we have spent thousands of dollars running these tests. The results - we couldn't find any popular do-it-yourself solutions that we felt were effective. So, we came up with our own methods - methods that actually work.
Knowledge is an important part of successful bat control and it is helpful to understand bat behavior and the importance of conservation. Safety is also key when it comes to handling bats and working around guano.
You will also want to find a professional that can adequately clean up any mess left behind by the bats before they were evicted.
Bat Removal Costs
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.
For the most part, bats are evicted as a colony. Even the most experienced of wildlife management professionals cannot efficiently remove bats one by one. Bats are elusive and will hide in areas that humans cannot reach with any tools or equipment without destruction.
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 even enter on one side of the house and live on the opposite side, in the wall.
Bat exclusions typically require an incredible amount of work, labor and materials. They can quickly become expensive depending upon the condition and architecture of your home. Bats can fit through any hole that is ¼" by ½" . 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" by ½" are desirable to seal up.
Preparing To Remove Bats
Areas where two different types of building materials come together are common problem areas that must also be sealed during bat exclusion.
Examples 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 if you were sealing up a house for a flying squirrel, mouse, scorpion or insect exclusion, as they are even more work to do.
Every building is totally different so costs vary greatly by structure too.
Fortunately, there are several insurance companies who will pay for damage done by bats. Our attic clean up and repair services include removing soiled, damaged materials and installing new insulation. Many insurance companies have loopholes that allow your wildlife damage to be covered under your insurance policy. However, wild squirrel and rodent problems are often considered acts of God and therefore not covered.
But even if proper techniques and knowledge are utilized to humanely evict bats, it can still fail if quality materials are not used.
We encountered the faulty exclusion attempt shown in the photo below at a client's home. It is a good example. Note the cloth bat "cone" and the guano below it. You can see the dried up and cracked caulking where the bats broke through and re-entered. Basically, the bats are now entering via the cone that was designed specifically to exclude them.
In the end, bat control requires several things to be successful - quality supplies and professional products, and the proper knowledge combined with the experience to match, and pride in your work. Stopping short on any of these things will only lead to failed attempts and repeat problems.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, Florida 33991-2126