Learning How to Control Bat Colonies
In most cases bats on your property can go unnoticed for many years. Of course, the animal can find itself inside your house, just flying around and landing on your furniture and curtains.
Don’t start to panic even if you find one. Look for humane ways to exclude it.
Here are some proper answers to the basic questions you have. They will help you to understand the problem and will guide you towards the optimal ways out of this situation.
Don’t you want to find effective remedies and protect your place from infestation?
Popular Ways to Fight Bat Infestation
Bat exclusion techniques are multiple, so it is important to understand that far not all of them are working.
Bat-proofing is perhaps one of the most popular and effective, but if it doesn’t work for some reasons, you are to do everything possible and use all the repel methods, including:
- chemical repellents,
- bright lights,
- fiberglass insulation,
- air conditioning,
- ultrasonic noise.
Let’s start with chemical repellents.
The most effective and widely recognized best control products are Dr. T’s Bat Scat and Sudbury’s Bat Repellent. However, they never guarantee 100% results.
Why? If they are sprinkled in places where only several bats are roosting (double walls, tight attic spaces, boxed-in areas, attic ceilings), they encourage only these bats to leave the building, while others remain. The effect is only temporary and lasts for 3-4 weeks. Most animals will just move to some other parts of your house.Warning!
Chemical repellents shouldn’t be used in case the human and pets are exposed to inhalation of odors.
Most people are very sensitive to them, so avoiding direct contacts is crucial.
- How to control colonies of bats without chemicals? Another possible way out is the use of bright lights, as they may repel pests.
For example, you can illuminate attics using about 150-watt bulbs, directing the light at all the entry points. They are to be turned on after the bats have already left their location for feeding.
Illumination is very successful, but not in all cases. When bats infest in huge building, lights can hardly work.
- What about fiberglass insulation?
Some pests roost during the night in open structures and outside the areas (patios, garages, behind shutters, carports, building overheads, etc.) You can discourage them from using such places, if you tack coarse fiberglass batting to the locations they hang.
- Air conditioning is another variant of bat pest control. Cool air and drafts within the location repel bats from your building. Direct the breezes produced by electric fans and they will prove success.
This approach works in places where exclusion can’t be achieved.
Turn on the air conditioners during April and May to discourage the pests from roosting, as they give preference to high temperatures to rear young generation.
- Some people claim that ultrasonic noise can be efficient as well. However, none of these bat control devices are 100% successful in the process of repelling.
How Do Bats Find the Way to Get in the House?
They usually enter the building in an opening or crack that is as small as 3/8 of an inch. This is why it is quite easy to miss such tiny entry points.
If there are any holes in walls, around the chimney, loose boards or cracks underneath the eaves, you can suffer from bat infestation.
They give preference to really dark areas and can be found behind the objects or furniture that gives protective space. For example, the corners of the attic.
Additional ways they gain entries include:
- unscreened direct vents,
- warped/loose siding,
- cracks/holes under a rotted eave,
- open cellar hatches,
- separations/cracks where chimneys meet the house,
- rotted windows,
- loose fitting screen,
- openings where wiring or pipes meet he house.
These holes can be surprisingly small. You can find them by the oil that is deposited from the bats’ fur and left on the roof or exterior walls – black or dark brown stains.
Such signs allow homeowners to find and seal the entries to prevent infestation.
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The Use of One-Way Bat Doors
When it comes to fast and efficient bat abatement, many homeowners choose one-way door traps – valves. They are unidirectional escapes that allow the animals to leave the area through an opening or crack and don’t allow getting back in again.
This is the most humane variant of exclusion that is even approved by Bat Conservation International Organization.
The device is defined as an exclusion instrument that allows bats to exit but not return. It is perfect for getting rid of animals from eves, attics and walls. It also works for mice, birds and squirrels.
Today’s market offers many styles and types of one-way doors. These can be hinged doors, netting or exclusion tubes. Homeowners find alternatives like garbage bags and gutter guard, socks and bird netting, stockings and caulk tubes.
The materials vary as well: plastic, wire frames, nets, etc. Some people even manage to build their own doors. Generally speaking, these devices are very effective, and you won’t have to handle the animal or catch it.
Before you use them:
- inspect the chimney, mortar and bricks that may form gaps;
- check ridge venting systems as they are feasible entrances;
- look for the gaps around the places where the chimney goes through soffit;
- seal the gaps you find and then install a one-way door.
While you are looking, you can find plastic ridge vents that are deformed and have gaps. Sometimes the gap in the vent is even chewed. In this case it is even better to replace it.
Bat Control Netting and Its Installation
This is another humane way to get rid of unwanted infestation. It works in buildings of all sizes and shapes. The fact it is cheap and environmentally friendly makes people all over the world use it and cause no trauma to bats.
Today it is primarily used to cover structures, objects and openings that shouldn’t serve as entry points to bats.
The pros of the bat exclusion netting are:
- a variety of sizes, forms and applications;
- a larger mesh configuration and the possibility of being used with big bats;
- a smaller mesh configuration and the possibility to be used with small bats;
- only one installation that guarantees you won’t have to take care of it anymore: it will pay for itself.
The widths and sizes of the one-way bat netting vary and depend on the manufacturer. However, it is always possible to find the length that ranges from 25 feet to up to 250 feet, as well as widths from 7 feet to 17 feet.
A good all-purpose net is the ¼ inch poly netting with a grade small enough for prevention the animals from getting stuck or strangled in the mesh.
The structure of the netting should be correctly tough in order to allow the animals to fly out and not come back. The shape should be right, like the one in an art and sculpture. When it comes to bat netting installation, you can install it on long gaps with vivid exit routes. Sometimes it must be extruded with the brackets in order to allow the clearance for the animals.
All you have to do is drape the netting over the entry points opening the ways out, but blocking the access. The material is easy to cut, install and use. When you choose the material, pay special attention to durability, because nowadays saving more becomes more important than durability, which is the wrong way when it comes to bat elimination. This is when short-term application is not a variant. Remember that if the colony is really big, any netting can fail. Make sure you have some more material to be used in emergency cases.
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Now it is quite clear what can be done or used to eliminate the bat colony that has settled in your house. Reread the provided information, picking out the variants that work best in your case. Make sure the choice is both effective and safe for you, your family and pets.
What device, technique or product have you chosen? Is it humane or chemical? Does it work immediately or require time and patience? In reality, it doesn’t matter much what you choose. What really matters is how it works.