How to control bats
Problems that bats cause
There are several problems that bats can cause in your home. The biggest problem is diseases. Many studies show that bats can carry over 130 different diseases. Diseases like Histoplasmosis, Rabies, Leptospirosis, SARS and many others are associated with bats. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection. It is caused by fungi that are present in bat droppings. Symptoms include headache, chills, fever, tiredness, muscle ache, chest pain, and dry cough. The chances of getting histoplasmosis increase with the number of spores you inhale. People like cave explorers and pest control workers are at a higher risk of getting the disease than ordinary people because they may stay in an environment with bat droppings for long periods. Rabies is a viral disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is a viral zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread to humans by mammals. It causes acute encephalitis and it is almost always fatal. If you are bitten by a bat that has rabies, you are most likely to contract this deadly disease. Seek medical attention immediately. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is another disease that can be spread by bats. Although research suggests that bats may be a carrier of the virus that causes SARS, scientists do not know exactly how this disease is spread. To be on the safe side, avoid contact with bats and bat droppings as much as possible. Here is when pest control services come in handy.
Bats also contaminate surfaces. When they touch surfaces, they leave behind parasites and bugs.
Bat feces are also a source of the odor. This unpleasant smell can make your home or attic a terrible place to be.
Signs you have bats on your premises
- Bats flying around your home at night – Bats are nocturnal mammals. If you see them flying around your house at night, chances are that they dwell in your premises
- Presence of bat droppings – If you can see bat droppings (guano) around your home, then you most likely have a bat infestation.
- Squeaking and flapping sounds – If you can hear squeaking and flapping sounds around your home at night, then you most likely have bats living around.
How to remove bats from your premises.
Create a disturbance to drive the bats away – Bats prefer to stay in dark quiet places. Remove the dark environment by installing lights in dark places where bats like to stay in your home. Ensure the lights are always on in places like the attic. Tamper with the quiet environment by installing a white noise machine. Leave this machine to run overnight. This will scare off the bats.
Create obstacles that repel bats. You can achieve this by installing aluminum foils or other similar materials in the ceiling.
Use natural insect repellents like eucalyptus or cinnamon. Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil in water and spray the solution all over the nesting areas. Bats don’t like the smell of eucalyptus. They will move away if you repeatedly spray their nesting areas with eucalyptus oil. If you can access cinnamon spice powder, mix it with water and spray the solution in places where the bats like to nest.
Install fans and air coolers around bat nests. This will cause temperatures to drop and make the place unconducive for the bats. The bats will leave to find a more suitable place to live.
After driving the bats away, the next step is to identify all entry points. Bats are small mammals, with the species typically found in Kenya measuring about 3 inches in length. In the world, the smallest bat species is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat. This bat is only 29–34 mm long. The small size of a bat enables it to squeeze through small openings. If you see an opening that has greasy stains, that is evidence that bats are passing through that hole.
After the identification of entry points, the next step is closing those holes. Seal off the holes to make sure that bats do not come back. Remember to leave one entry open for a short period to allow the bats that are still inside to leave.
Another important method of controlling bats is installing a one-way exclusion device. This device is effective because it allows the bats to leave the premises but they cannot come back inside.
Do a thorough inspection of the premises to ascertain if there are no bats left. If you find out that all the bats are gone, proceed to seal off the one entry point you left open initially. You can then remove the one-way exclusion device.
Bats like to stay at a place where they can get plenty of food sources like insects. To control them, reduce exterior food and water sources. At night, lights attract insects and the insects will attract bats. Try putting off exterior lights at night to reduce the insects.
Bats are sometimes useful to humans. They feed on insects that cause problems to people like mosquitoes. After Ensuring that there are no entry points of bats into your house, you can provide them a place to live by hanging a bat box.
Some people prefer to trap and relocate the bats. To do this, seal off all exit points except one. Set up an animal cage trap in this remaining exit. Optionally, you can use netting. Relocate the bats to a distant place. Bats are extremely good at navigation and will easily find their way back to your home if you don’t take them far enough.
When dealing with bats ensure that you have your skin well covered by wearing gloves, masks, and other necessary gear.
Dealing with a large bat colony can sometimes be dangerous. Bats can bite and infect you with rabies. In this case, the better option is to call in pest control experts. Pest professionals have the experience and knowledge to safely deal with large colonies of bats.