Bats in the House
There are a few telltale signs that bats may be in the house. Look for these signs when determining the extent of a bat infestation:
- Watch for bats entering the house just before dark.
- Look for mouse like fecal matter around your home. You can identify the fecal matter as bat droppings if you find the fecal matter in piles around your house, as bats defecate just where they roost for the day and just before entering the home. Also, bat droppings will crumble like dust whereas mouse droppings will harden.
- Watch for bats flying around your home when it is dark.
If you have had two or more “bat encounters” in your home in the past calendar year, you more than likely have bats nesting in your home.
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Having bats in the house can pose many health risks. Two of the most serious risks include rabies and histoplasmosis.
Bats are animals that are known for carrying rabies. This can pose threats when bats find their way into peoples’ living space. Potentially bats could bite a person while that person is sleeping without that person ever knowing. For this reason it is recommended that after finding bats in a home that each individual in that home receive rabies vaccinations.
Bats can also pass along a disease called Histoplasmosis. This is a disease that affects the lungs. Histoplasmosis is a fungus that is found in a bat’s fecal matter and is passed along to people when they breathe in small, dust-like particles of bat droppings. For this reason never try to clean bat droppings on your own.
The best way to get rid of bats in the house is by exclusion. Thus the first step to take is to identify the entrance and exit points bats use to access the home. Block the area with caulk or screens. It is important to be thorough as bats can fit into openings as small as a dime. Professional pest control companies use a one-way exit device, sometimes called a bat cone. These devices allow the bat to exit the home but not enter. This is a great alternative to simple exclusion because you can avoid trapping bats inside the home. Often times they will die, leaving behind a carcass that is hard to find and dispose. After all bats have exited the home, a professional pest control company can be hired to permanently block all possible entryways.