Bats are nocturnal, and they're the only mammals that can fly. They take refuge in sheltered places like caves, trees, or your attic during the day, and fly out at night to look for insects and fruit to eat. If you have a colony of bats living in your attic, you probably aren't too happy about the situation, and want to get rid of them. Getting rid of them by yourself can be difficult, especially if you make one of these serious mistakes.
Killing the bats
Pesticides are an effective way to deal with many types of household infestations, like spiders and ants, but they're not a good way to deal with a bat infestation. Bats are unwanted pests, but many of them are actually endangered, including bats like the Hog-nosed bat, the Indiana bat, and the Gray bat.
These bats are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act is a federal law, so it's effective in every state. The penalties for killing endangered animals are very strict, and can include fines of up to $50,000 and one year in prison.
The bats in your attic may or may not be endangered, but to the untrained eye, different species of bats are hard to identify. You should assume that the bats in your attic are endangered, since killing endangered bats is much more expensive than calling animal control.
Removing the bats by yourself
Some people think that trapping the bats in their attic and releasing them somewhere else is a good way to solve their bat problem. This is a bad idea since bats carry a wide variety of dangerous diseases and the risk of getting bitten by one of the bats that you're trying to remove is high.
Bats carry rabies, a fatal disease that most people are already aware of. Rabies is spread by saliva, so if an infected bat bites you, you will be exposed to the virus. Bats spread less well-known diseases, too, like histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a fungus that grows in bat droppings; its spores can become airborne and enter your body when you breathe.
If you have bats in your attic, you need to stay as far away from them as you can. Don't climb up into your attic to try to trap them, since even the air up there can make you sick.
Sealing the opening to your attic
Swarms of bats fly out of your attic every night to hunt for food, and once they've flown away, it may seem like a good idea to seal the opening to your attic so that they can't get back in. If the opening is sealed when the bats are out hunting at night, you may think that there's no harm done, but this isn't the case. Not all of the bats leave the nest, so some will be trapped inside, such as injured bats or baby bats that haven't learned how to fly yet.
Baby bats are born during the summer months, and for the first several weeks of their lives, they can't fly, and they feed on milk, just like other baby mammals. If you seal the entrance to your attic when their mothers are out hunting for food, the babies will die, and dead animals smell very bad. Sealing the attic at any time of the year can lead to a smelly situation, due to the potential for injured bats being trapped there, but it's even riskier in the summer.
Bats are pests, but their protected status, potential to carry diseases, and nesting habits make them hard to get rid of by yourself. If you have bats in your attic, you should call a professional pest control company to help you get rid of them. Visit http://cavanaughspest.com to learn more about pest control services in your area.