bat-control

Expert Advice: How To Get Rid of Bats

I’m Jeff Holper, founder and owner of Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions. Over the years I have become an expert on St. Louis bat removal. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been asked advice on how to get rid of bats. I have heard crazy stories from DIY folks that have learned the hard way that this is definitely a job to leave to professionals. We have the most effective eradication services because we understand bats–the critical first step to successful St. Louis bat removal.

Bats 101

bats-in-atticIn the Greater St. Louis region, the bats that we encounter are the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat. (There are more than 1,000 bat species worldwide.) Pregnant females form maternity colonies until their young are born in May and June. Each female gives birth to one or two young, which begin flying at three to five weeks to begin feeding on their own. Bats are insectivores, with some bat species eating up to half of their weight in flying insects each night.

Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. Nocturnal in nature, the flapping in the dark of their wings, with a 6 to 12 inch wingspan, can bring a shriek of panic from fainthearted folks. A bat’s wing actually resembles a human hand, as if there were extremely elongated fingers with a wing membrane stretched across and between. Bats can maneuver far more precisely and quickly than birds due to having a much thinner wing.

What’s So Bad About a Bat?

Bat Gueno in AtticBats live in colonies of one to 300, so your infestation problem is rarely a bat, but bats! Most bat complaints occur from April through August, when bats enter houses through eaves, overhangs, unscreened vents, and structural gaps. Occasionally bats enter a home through an open window or chimney. Bats can squeeze through holes that are ⅜ “ wide (the size of dime) and if they flatten themselves, they can squeeze through a gap that is ⅛” wide! Once inside, what homeowners find annoying and objectionable are the noises a bat makes (scratching, squeaking, and crawling in walls and attics) and the stains and odors created by urine and droppings (guano). Guano is a biohazard that should only be cleaned by the trained personnel of Holper’s with the proper safety equipment. Histoplasmosis is an airborne fungus disease that can grow in pigeon and bat droppings (guano), but usually the guano must have contact with moisture, which is generally not present in a dry attic.

Being a mammal, a very small percentage of bats will contract rabies. (Being that sick bats are simpler to catch than healthy ones, the statistics released by health agencies may show higher percentages than is accurate.) Exposure to the rabies virus is decreased if you avoid contact with bats and keep all pets current on vaccinations. Your risk after exposure can only be determined by your healthcare professional. Bats are also hosts to parasites such as the bat bug, a relative of the bed bug. Being host-specific, these parasites rarely bite pets or humans, and they can be easily controlled by the professional application of an insecticide once the bats are evicted from a structure.

Bat Control

Control involves sealing the entire structure, except where the bats are entering and exiting the building. Those spots are fitted with a one-way door so that bats can exit your building but they cannot re-enter. It is best to implement control before the end of May or after the third week of August, so as not to trap young bats in the structure. Once the bats have all left your home the one-way doors are removed and the area is sealed, effectively bat-proofing your home.

In extreme circumstances of St. Louis bat removal, professional toxicants can be used, but only on specific bat species. It is a very involved process that can lead to an increased number of contacts with people and pets in the vicinity. For this reason, it is rarely the method of choice in how to get rid of bats.

Holper’s–Your BAT MANagement Experts!

From diagnosing your bat problem, to the installation of one-way doors, to removing guano, to sealing the structure, one call to Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will get it all done. Holper’s  IS how to get rid of bats. Call your St. Louis bat removal professionals at 314-544-7378 today!