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Unfortunate though it may be, there’s a reason why bats are such tragically misunderstood creatures. If you’ve ever had one in your home, you know how traumatic the experience can be. When bats enter homes, they’re often panicked, confused, and disoriented. They’re startling and upsetting at best and dangerous at worst. Sometimes, a stray bat may accidentally wander into your home without reason. If you’ve encountered a bat in your home several times, however, it’s probably no accident. Bats occasionally take up residence in homes, especially to care for their offspring. Here’s how you can tell if you have a bat infestation, and what you can do about it. ‌

Remove All Bats First

remove all bats firstIf you encounter bats in your home frequently, it’s probably because they’re roosting in your home full-time. You need to have a professional remove the bats in your home before you cut off their way in. It’s especially important to remove bats during May through August. During summer, bats care for their offspring by hunting and returning food to their roosts. If you cut off your bat’s way back into their roosts, they won’t be able to feed their young. If bats are roosting inside your home, they’re usually in your attic. Figure out if bats live in your home by looking for “guano,” or bat droppings. Guano are usually small, dark, round pellets that smell musty. If you find it in your attic, then bats are probably roosting in your home. Get those bats out before you follow the other steps on this list. If young bats die in your home, it’ll only create bigger, more expensive problems for you to deal with. ‌

Check the Roof

Check the roof for damageBats can enter a structure through any opening larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch. For reference, a paper clip is about half an inch long. Bats use these openings the same way rodents like rats and mice do; they simply squeeze through. Bats can use the same kinds of openings rats would, too, but they can also access openings rats can’t. Bats very frequently find openings on rooftops. They squeeze through these openings, chew or push through insulation, and end up in attics and rafters. Even the most minor roof damage could create an opening big enough for a bat. Bats can exploit loose shingles or tiles, damaged trimming, rot, or all kinds of other roofing issues. After you’ve removed bats from your home, use caulk or sealant to fix up roofing issues. You could also look for openings inside your home. Feel out drafts in your attic and look for places where you can see sunlight. Repair or replace damaged insulation and wood paneling as you find it. ‌

Control Vents and Chimneys

Control vents and chimneysAn ideal bat roost is dark, secluded, sheltered, and easily accessible to the bat but not to predators. Home vents and chimneys satisfy all of these requirements, which is why bats roost in them so frequently. Bats hide inside dark ventilation systems or chimneys until night and then leave to hunt. They also frequently use chimney or vent roosts to rear offspring, especially in summer time. Often, bats may get confused or follow vents deeper into homes after establishing their roosts. While you’re patching up your roof, invest in chimney and vent caps. These stainless steel wire mesh covers fit over your chimney and vent openings to prevent bats from accessing them. By keeping bats out of your chimneys and vents, you’ll prevent them from gathering around your home. The less time bats spend around your home, the less likely they’ll find and exploit an opening. Vent and chimney covers may rust or wear out over time, so be sure to replace them every couple years. ‌

Seal Openings

Seal openingsAfter you’ve sealed up your roof, you should work your way down. Remember when we said bats could use the same kinds of openings rats do? Those openings could still provide bats a means of accessing your home, even if you seal off their original way in. Bats frequently squeeze past damaged screens or peeling weatherproofing on windows and doors, for instance. Reseal your windows and doors every summer, and make sure they’re closing completely. After doors and windows, look for openings around utility lines. Pipes, vents, and wirings need space in the wall to enter your home. Sometimes there’s too much space between the wall and the utility, creating an opening pests like bats can use. Sealing these openings with caulk or steel wool will cut off another avenue for bats and other pests. Finally, look for any other possible cracks bats could use to enter your home and seal them up. Remember, if you can see it, it’s probably big enough to be a problem.   We don’t recommend trying to remove bats from your home yourself. Not only is it difficult to make sure you’ve permanently removed the roost, it can also be dangerous. Wild bats may have rabies and can transmit various diseases. Instead of trying to take on your bat problem alone, give Varment Guard a call. We have the tools, know-how, and experience to remove bats from your home safely, humanely, efficiently, and effectively. We’ll also help you make sure you don’t have to worry about infestations in the future.

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