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Bat Problems and Pest Control

While bats help control pest insect populations by consuming up to thousands of insects each night, bats can cause problems that may require their removal by a professional pest control company, especially if they will be in contact with humans. This must be done in a manner that does not harm the bats. Social bats are probably the most concerning type of bat infestation since there can be well over 25 bats in a colony. Sometimes the number exceeds a hundred or more.

Bats have long been unfairly feared. Old tales about bats have been handed down from generation to generation. These tales are mostly great exaggerations such as the idea that all bats drink blood, that bats will easily get tangled in hair and that they will get under bed covers. Most of these tales are totally unfounded; bats should be treated with respect and extreme caution.

Many types of social bats give off a high-pitched chirping sound and this is used to communicate with each other as well as to find prey. The bats use sound similar to SONAR. As the sound bounces off prey, the bat can zero in on the target food.

Bats can create quite a mess where they live. Whether the colony is located in an attic or wall void, the droppings can damage materials and can also have an unacceptable pungent odor. Bat droppings can also contain microbes which can lead to respiratory disease. Anyone who comes in contact with bats should wear respiratory protection to avoid breathing potentially harmful microbes. Also, bats should not be handled by anyone except the trained wildlife expert.

Bats can damage structures as they can chew building materials and also enlarge access holes. They generally don’t cause extensive structural damage.

Bat urine can cause degradation of flooring, insulation and wood. Urine and droppings on attic floors may seep into ceilings of living areas. This can cause wood to become brittle, and many times it is best to have the soiled material replaced. Since bats can carry disease, it is important that any contractors who repair bat-soiled materials use personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves and respirators that are recommended for use during bat cleanup.

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