Finding bats roosting in your home can be an alarming and concerning discovery. Bats naturally seek out sheltered places to nest, and attics, eaves, and porches provide ideal habitat. While many homeowners try DIY bat removal methods, this often leads to incomplete eviction and risks of property damage or disease transmission. Hiring a professional bat removal service is the safest, most effective approach.
Why Remove Bats from Your Home?
There are several reasons getting rid of roosting bats on your property is recommended:
- Guano accumulation – Bat droppings and urine can damage insulation, walls, and ceilings as well as create an overpowering odor.
- Structural deterioration – Large bat colonies can lead to discoloration and erosion of wood over time. Their urine is highly corrosive.
- Health hazards – Bats can transmit rabies through bites and scratches as well as histoplasmosis from guano accumulations.
- Nuisance issues – Bats make chirping noises and leave a musky odor. Their guano droppings collect outside roosts.
By excluding bats humanely through professional removal, homeowners can avoid these issues.
When Do Bats Enter Homes?
Bats exploit openings and crevices in homes as roosting sites primarily during two seasons:
Spring – Female bats begin seeking sheltered maternity roosts to give birth and raise their pups through summer.
Fall – Bats scout for hibernation spots with stable temperature as cold weather approaches.
Attics and garages often get invaded in spring once pups are weaned and able to fly. Any small gaps or holes give them entry access. As temperatures drop in fall, cavities in siding, shutters, and roofing provide insulation for torpor.
Understanding these seasonal patterns helps determine the best times to schedule bat removals. Late spring and early fall are ideal.
Signs of Bats in Your Home
Watch for these common signs that bats may have roosted on your property:
- Bat droppings – These look like dark brown or black rice grains and tend to accumulate where bats exit and under roosts.
- Bat sounds – High-pitched squeaking or chattering noises, especially at dawn and dusk, indicate bat activity.
- Odor – An ammonia-like musky scent emanates from bat urine and guano droppings.
- Grease marks – Smudges or stains form on walls and vents where bats repeatedly exit.
- Fluttering – Seeing bats exiting at dusk or entering at dawn means they have an indoor roost.
Once one or more signs are noticed, contact a bat removal professional promptly to inspect and initiate exclusion.
Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Bat Removal
While tutorials for removing bats yourself are plentiful online, this often does more harm than good. Risks include:
- Bats chased away will simply find another entry point into the home. Complete exclusion requires sealing all holes.
- Improper exclusion techniques such as plugging main entries trap bats inside the structure. They eventually die creating foul odors, health hazards, and possible home damage.
- Direct contact with bats puts you at risk for bites that can transmit rabies or scratches that infect with histoplasmosis from guano.
- Using dangerous methods like smoke, poison, or sticky traps are illegal as well as inhumane ways to kill bats.
Attempting DIY bat removal almost always results in incomplete eviction and the need to call a professional anyway once the problem persists.
Professional Bat Removal Process
Reputable bat removal companies follow a careful multi-step process:
Inspection – Locating all bat entry points through visual inspection and use of specialized equipment like endoscopes.
Initial exclusion – Installing one-way exclusion devices that let bats exit but not re-enter the roost overnight while foraging.
Secondary exclusion – After confirming successful exclusion, permanently sealing all remaining entry holes with exclusion netting, foam, steel wool, copper mesh, flashing, caulk or wood repairs.
Guano cleanup – Once all bats are out, safely removing all accumulated droppings using protective gear to avoid histoplasmosis exposure.
Follow-up inspection – Confirming no bats remain and monitoring for any attempted re-entries over time. Performing any additional repairs needed to prevent new infiltrations.
Professional bat removal is a meticulous, multi-visit process that requires patience to ensure permanent, humane exclusion.
What Times of Year Should Bats Be Removed?
To avoid trapping flightless young bats inside or separating mothers from pups, removals should only occur during these windows:
- Spring – After pups are weaned and able to exit on their own but before females migrate to summer grounds. Late May through mid-June is optimal.
- Fall – After maternity colonies have dispersed but before bats enter hibernation mode. Late August to October works best.
- Winter – With bats in hibernation away from the roost, winter allows safe exclusion and roost cleanup.
Avoiding peak maternity and hibernation seasons reduces risks to bats and ensures a successful elimination.
How Much Does Professional Bat Removal Cost?
Depending on the severity of the infestation, number of entry points, and amount of guano clean-up required, typical costs range from $600 – $1,500. However, costs ultimately depend on the individual property, access challenges, and cleanup extent. Get an on-site inspection and free estimate before approving any work.
Many companies offer specials during spring and fall high seasons. You may also get a discount by booking soon after the initial inspection before bats have time to do more damage.
What to Look for in a Bat Removal Company
When hiring a bat removal service, look for the following:
- Licensing – Choose a company licensed specifically for nuisance wildlife control rather than just general pest control. They should also have any permits required by your state or municipality.
- Experience – Select a contractor with substantial experience excluding bats specifically, not just handling general wildlife.
- Good reputation – Check reviews on Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau for responsiveness to issues and timely, high-quality service.
- Humane methods – Ensure the company uses humane exclusion over lethal methods and does not illegally transport bats.
- Insurance – Pick a contractor insured for liability, workers compensation, and property damage coverage.
- Guarantee – Opt for a company that stands behind their work and provides free follow-up inspections if needed.
This helps identify ethical, properly trained professionals who provide lasting solutions.
DIY Prevention of Future Bat Problems
To help avoid repeat bat invasions after removal:
- Seal all potential gaps and crevices larger than 1/4 inch around roof lines, vents, chimneys, and overhangs using exclusion netting, copper mesh, steel wool, caulk or foam.
- Install floodlights with motion sensors in roosting areas along with ultrasonic deterrents.
- Trim back tree branches touching the home.
- Make sure attic vents are properly screened and chimney flues are capped.
- Fix loose or damaged shingles, siding and roofing that allows easy entry access.
- Keep gutters cleaned out to prevent water damage and insect infestations that attract bats.
Taking proactive exclusion measures deters future bat colonies from taking up residence again.
Although bats serve an important role in controlling insect populations, allowing them to roost in your home can create serious issues with guano accumulations, structural damage, and disease transmission risks. Attempting do-it-yourself removals often makes problems worse. Hiring a licensed, experienced professional bat removal service using humane exclusion techniques is the safest, most effective way to get rid of unwelcome bat infestations and prevent future colonies from forming.