Bats are among Tennessee’s most fascinating and exceptional vertebrates and likely a standout amongst the most misconstrued. There are numerous myths concerning bats that cause some individuals to superfluously fear these warm blooded creatures. Actually, most bats are highly beneficial, intelligent, extremely interesting, and possess fascinating abilities, such as homing instinct and the ability to navigate by echolocation in complete darkness.
Bats are generally safe, they are elusive and prefer habitats away from direct contact with humans. They rarely, if at any time attack people. In fact, most bats in Middle TN are biologically useful mammals. The majority of bats, primarily feed on insects, sharing a large part of natural pest control but there are also fruit-eating bats; nectar-eating bats, these are considered as pest to agriculture. They can also be nuisances in the event that they take up residence inside Tennessee homes and organizations.
Bats live a very long time, and they stay in the same place basically forever. The colony grows larger every year, as the female bats have babies each summer, and those babies join the colony. After a period of years, you can have thousands of bats, and that’s where the problems start. Hearing occasional squeaking or the rustling of bat wings in your attic, chimney, or walls can be a nuisance, and even a bit unsettling.
It is also disturbing to find a baby or adult bat in the living areas of your home. If a bat is stuck and dies somewhere in your walls or elsewhere in your home, you may smell the unpleasant stench of the decaying bat. These problems are minor, but should not be ignored because eventually larger problems will develop, such as guano buildup.
Bats droppings and urine will stain walls, ceilings, and can cause a strong and unpleasant odor, that may attract insects and other bat colonies, even after the original colony is eliminated. Long-term accumulation of these droppings in attic spaces has been associated with the respiratory disease Histoplasmosis. This disease is caused by a fungal spore called Histoplasma, capsulatum. Bat and/or bird droppings that have decomposed from 2-5 years or longer provide an ideal habitat for spore growth and reproduction. And finally, there is a slight chance of someone contacting a rabid bat, although the great majority of house-infesting bats in Tennessee are NOT rabid.
An amateur attempt, by someone with no experience, or worse, a pest control company that uses bat poison, could result in disaster – dead, rotting bats, and bats swarming throughout the walls and the home. Also mothballs or ammonia won’t make them leave, nor will ultrasonic sound emitters or strobe lights. These tactics have been ruled fraudulent by the FTC, and they DO NOT WORK. Exclusion Techniques Making a structure “bat proof” is the best long-term, cost-effective, practical, and biologically acceptable way to control bats. Remember, the objective in controlling bats is to rid a building of the colony permanently. Exclusion is the only method that can guarantee this goal.
In Tennessee the best time of the year to bat-proof a building is either in late fall after the bats depart for hibernation, or in late winter/early spring before the bats arrive. If, for some reason, it can only be done during the summer, the preferred time is mid-August or later. External exclusion programs should never be attempted mid-May through mid-August (nursery phase), because the young will be trapped within the structure and die, creating odor problems. Preventing bats from entering occupied rooms is usually a primary concern for those people experiencing a bat infestation. During this nursery phase, exclusion programs can be focused on the interior areas of the building using the same exterior guidelines listed below.
In some cases, such as very large, older buildings, excluding the bats will require a substantial amount of time to repair all the holes the bats are using to gain entry. There are, however, various products that provide practical, economical, permanent exclusion even for buildings like barns.
Sixteen species of bats found in Tennessee are protected by state law. It is recommended that before conducting any type of bat control or relocating any bats that have been captured, contact a professional bat removal experts. People occasionally inquire with ordinary pest control professionals as to whether or not the nuisance bat colony can be “exterminated” by applying some kind of poisonous material. This is not an acceptable control alternative because there are no poisons that can be legally used for bat control. Besides, poisoning bats might only worsen the situation. The bats may die in an inaccessible area within a building, thereby creating an odor problem. Also, bats affected by the poison could disperse over an entire community before dying. This may increase the chance of contact with a child, dog, cat, etc., thereby increasing the potential for a “rabies scare” and/or a possible rabies exposure. Bats in your house should be removed immediately.
If you suspect you have a bat in your attic, in your walls, in sheds, in a utility building or bats in your chimney you should call our bat removal experts immediately. As the longer the bats stay, the longer they will continue to come back and put the homes occupants at risk of being bitten. This is alarming because bat bites are the main cause of rabies in humans. Bats can also quickly contaminate an area and, if the conditions are right, a fungus dangerous to humans may start to grow in the guano (bat droppings). We feel that removing a bat humanely is important. Bat Removal can be done in a humane and efficient manner with the right tools and training. Choose a wildlife professional that uses the exclusion method of Bat Removal to ensure that the bats leave your attic alive, but are unable to get back in!