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Category: Bats

Bats and other Attic Pests

Last week we examined pests that like to make a home in your garage. This week we will examine another popular nesting and hiding place for pests such as bats, raccoons, mice and rats – the common attic pests. Your attic is probably a great storage spot for your family’s items such as decorations, bins of clothing, and old furniture. For the critters that want to find a home in your attic, this area can be a place to nest that is warm, safe from predators, and has fairly easy access to food and water. Let’s take a closer look at signs that there may be critters taking up residence in your attic and what you can do about it.

There are several main giveaways that there may be a pest or pests taking up safe haven in your attic including:

  • Droppings such as small pellets indicative of a mouse or rat; larger, oily droppings common with raccoons; and bat guano that can be seen and smelled!
  • Actually seeing activity of pests such as spotting a bat in flight, a mouse scurry by, or the scratchings of a raccoon.
  • If you do not see activity you may hear activity either day or night depending upon the critter. Sounds may include scratching, gnawing, or even light footsteps.

Once you suspect that you may have a bat or other critter in your attic, you will want to take steps to protect your storage items and eliminate the creature from your home. We recommend not trying to do this yourself as raccoons can become aggressive when cornered and other pests can make the area unsafe to venture into without the proper equipment. Call Pest-End to first inspect the area and then remove or eliminate the pest. Once removed you should be sure to assess how the pests got into the area and seal up/repair the entry point.

If you suspect that you have pests in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

Garage Pests

For homeowners, garages are often convenient spaces to store excess “stuff” such as holiday decorations, bikes, lawn equipment, bins of old clothing and, of course, trash. For pests however, garages are a cornucopia of treasures such as: discarded food in the garbage barrels, a warm place to nest in the bins of old clothes and, of course, garages provide shelter from the elements. What critters do you have in your garage? Here are some of the most common garage pests to be aware of and how you can protect your “stuff” from unwanted visitors.

Common Garage Pests –

  • Raccoons
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Skunks
  • Ants
  • Termites

In order to avoid this line up of critters from making their home in your garage, here are a few tips on how to protect the area.

  • Keep your door down when you are not in the need of using the interior of the garage. This may mean maintaining the mechanisms or just remembering to shut the door each time. Keeping the pests out is the first step in making sure they do not take up residence in your garage.
  • Clean up the clutter. The less clutter there is for pests to find a home inside of, the better. Clutter is attractive to many pests because of the the hiding places it can offer, so do your best to keep clutter in your garage to a minimum.
  • Reduce the attraction. Keep lights off and garbage barrels covered. These two things can be like a beacon to pests such as wild animals and bugs to enter the area. The smells from your trash and the light from the garage may cause some pests just to check out what is in there.
  • Have a pest management team inspect your garage. If you suspect that some critter is living or at least visiting your garage regularly, call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321 for an inspection and a solution to your garage pest problem.

Fun Bat Facts

 

Want to know some fun bat facts? We get many calls to handle bats that have made their way into homes, attics and garages. They can be frightening to see flapping around your property especially if you can not locate them quickly. Finding bats for our customers is pretty common and a task we do happily. For this blog we thought we would let all our customers know that, yes, these creatures can be frightening – but they can also be amazingly interesting.

  • Bats are great at mosquito control! 70% of bats consume insects, sharing a large part of natural pest control.
  • Echolocation – Some bats have evolved a highly sophisticated sense of hearing. They emit sounds that bounce off of objects in their path, sending echoes back to the bats. From these echoes, the bats can determine the size of objects, how far away they are, how fast they are traveling and even their texture, all in a split second
  • There are over 1000 different bat species.
  • Bats are the only mammals capable of continued flight.
  • Bat droppings, called guano, are one of the richest fertilizers.
  • The world’s largest bat is the “flying fox” that lives on islands in the South Pacific. It has a wingspan of up to 6 feet.
  • Bats can live more than 30 years and can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph.
  • More than half of all bats in the U.S. are endangered or in decline.
  • Bats are not blind and, in fact, many bats can see quite well; some species can even detect ultraviolet light.

Call Pest-End Exterminators if you have a bat situation that you need solved!  

Bats – the Good and the Bad

Bats have a really bad reputation. They are constantly being portrayed in the media and in movies as an animal to be feared and as blood-sucking, rabid creatures. As exterminators, it is our job to understand the role that each creature plays in the ecosystem and how that creature impacts the animals above and below it in the food chain. Having gained this knowledge over the years and in our experiences, there are always positive and negatives to each creature we deal with. Here is a quick run down of the good and the bad of bats!

Bats are Good . . . . 

  • Bats are incredibly diverse group of mammals who live on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Bats are the only mammals that can fly making them quite the unique creature.
  • Bats use an amazing navigation feature called echolocation.
  • Bats are great at exterminating pests like mosquitoes and insects that destroy crops. They are critical to our ecosystem.
  • Bats reduce the need for pesticides on farms. The New York Times recently estimated that bats in the United States save us somewhere between $3.7 and 54 billion in pest control services every year.
  • Bats are pollinators. Just like bees, bats pollinate fruits.
  • Bats spread seeds. Fruit bats do this by a process called seed dispersal. These bats eat fruit and their seeds, fly away and disperse the seeds in a different location via their feces.
  • Bats may help produce medicines. Scientists have extracted a compound from Vampire bat saliva and turned it into medicine (aptly named Draculin).

Bats may be harmful . . . 

  • Bats may be dangerous to handle especially of you find one in your home. They do carry disease  so be sure to call in a professional if you suspect that you have a bat in the attic or crawl spaces of your home.
  • Several highly fatal diseases have been linked to bats. Rabies is perhaps the most well known disease associated with bats. 

  • The guano or feces droppings of bats may spread a disease called Histoplasmosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus that grows in soil and material contaminated with droppings from animals, including bats. Droppings, also known as bat guano, can contaminate the soil and cause infectious spores to be released when the soil is disturbed.

Bats – Myths and Facts

Bats are often misunderstood and feared animals. Science however, tells us that bats are amazing mammals that are critical to many ecosystems around the world. Unfortunately, when we get a call here at Pest-End Exterminators about a bat or a family of bats, it usually means that they have taken up residence in an attic or hidden space of a residence.  In our experience there are many myths that have been perpetuated about these animals. Here are just a five of the most common myths that we hope to dispel about bats. 

MYTH – All bats have rabies.

TRUTH – Like many wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, and foxes, bats can carry rabies. But the chances of being bitten by—and getting rabies from—a bat are extremely small. It is estimated that about 1% of bats carry the disease.  Unfortunately, if you have had a bat in your home, you may want to have a doctor check you out and confirm that you have not been bitten. 

 

MYTH – Bats are blind.

FACT – Bats are not blind and will not randomly fly into your hair!  In fact, most bats can see as well as humans.  Bats use an added creature feature called echolocation to navigate. This echolocation is a type of radar that sends out sounds that bounce back from objects that help the bat identify how far away prey is and enhances their ability to locate where they are in space.

 

MYTH – Bats attack people.

FACTBats are afraid of humans and try to stay away from people as best they can. If a bat seems to be swooping down at you at night, it’s probably after the mosquito that is hovering just above your head. Most bats are gentle animals and would much rather get out of a person’s way than to attack him or her.

 

MYTH – Bats are ugly and dirty.

FACT – Bats are not ugly or dirty. Most bats have very cute faces, some even resemble deer, rabbits, and little Chihuahuas. Like cats, bats spend an enormous amount of time grooming their fur, keeping it soft and silky.

 

MYTH – Bats suck the blood of people.

FACT – Not all bats are vampires. Of the world’s 1100+ species, only three are vampire bats limited mostly to Latin America. Vampire bats are very small (about the size of a package of M&Ms). Vampire bats do not attack humans or suck our blood; they prefer to get their teaspoon-sized meals from other animals.

The Interesting World of Bugs

Almost everywhere on the planet there are bugs. These critters are wildly diverse in color, size and behavior. While most homeowners call us to eliminate the pests from their property, we can’t help but marvel in their interesting features and characteristics. Every once and a while it is fun to take a closer look at pests and their interesting world.

 

Did you know. . . ?

  • A cockroach can live for up to 3 weeks without its head!
  • The weight of all the termites in the world outweigh the weight of all humans 10 to 1!
  • The queen of a certain termite species can lay 40,000 eggs per day.
  • The life cycle of a mosquito features four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  • Female mosquitoes drink blood in order to obtain nutrients needed to produce eggs.
  • A mosquito flaps its wings 500 times a second.
  • Male mosquitoes do not bite humans but rather live on plant juices and other natural liquids from plants and decomposing organic material.
  • The average housefly lives for one month.
  • Out of every 1,000 Mosquitoes, one female carries a disease that could be fatal to humans.
  • Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.
  • To survive the cold of winter months, many insects replace their body water with a chemical called glycerol, which acts as an “antifreeze” against the temperatures.
  • Ants leave trails and communicate with each other using pheromones as chemical signals.
  • There are nearly as many species of ants (8,800) as there are species of birds (9,000) in the world.
  • Although insects can be found by the buckets just about anywhere on Earth, there’s one continent where they barely have a foothold: Antarctica. In fact, only one true species of insect, a wingless midge called Belgica antarctica, calls the southernmost continent home.

 

Bats in the Attic

It was a warm summer night and I was enjoying a good book while lazily sitting on my couch. The novel was a high-action, mystery that already had me on the edge of my seat. Then suddenly something caught my attention from the corner of my eye. It was a shadow that seemingly flew across my living room. At first I thought it was just my imagination. Then, after several more sightings, I realized that this was not my overactive imagination but rather a bat! I quickly evacuated the room and blocked off the doorways to keep this creature in one area. After a fitful night’s sleep I realized that my batty friend was not alone. He had friends and probably family living in my attic and this particular visitor must have escaped when I removed the summer clothes from the attic. Now what do I do?

 

If this scenario has ever happened to you, you know that it can be a bit unnerving to find a bat flying around your home. Pest-End can certainly help you locate and remove all of your unwanted house guests quickly as well as evaluate your home for entry points through which these critters inserted themselves into your home and life. Here are some important things to know about bats in case this scenario does happen in your home.

 

  • Less than 1% of bats have rabies but this does not mean you should take your bat situation into your own hands. Almost every person who gets bit by a bat does so because they pick up a sick or injured bat. Like any other wild animal, bats should never be handled at any time except by a professional who can wear the right protective gear and knows how to handle a bat. This is especially true when found on the ground or in a home.
  • A bat that is flying around your home is not trying to attack you. In fact it is probably trying to use it’s echolocation ability to find a way out! If at all possible open outside doors to encourage this behavior. Otherwise stay out of its way and do not touch.
  • Talk to an expert before trying to seal up your home to stop the bats from getting in. Many people make the mistake of sealing up the home during the day when they are roosting and not excluding them from the property first! This means you will have stressed out bats madly trying to find a way to get out of your home! If they can not find a way out the smell of guano will not be the only smell you have to deal with.
  • Talk to a professional. Call Pest-End to evaluate your bat problem and find out the next steps to take.

Bats: Myths and Facts

Of all the pests that we eradicate from homes and buildings, the pest that is most misunderstood is the bat – the small, nocturnal, flying animals. A long time ago, people used to think bats were birds without feathers. But now we know that there is no such thing as a featherless bird. We know that bats are mammals, just like people, but the misconceptions do not stop there.  Let’s examine some of the most common myths that surround these animals that sometimes take up residence in our walls, attics and roof overhangs.

 

Myth: All bats transmit the deadly disease rabies.

Fact: Many people seem to think that all bats have rabies. This is not true. Quite the contrary, as less than 1% ever contract rabies, and it is highly unusual for a bat to contact a person, though a sick bat may have no fear of a human or other animals. (Source: The Bat Guy- National Wildlife Control Service)

 

Myth: Bats are blind and randomly fly inside homes.

Fact:  Bats are not blind. In fact they use a navigation system that helps them find their prey in the dark called echolocation.

 

Myth: Bats attack humans when they find themselves trapped in a home or building.

Fact: Bats do not attack humans. One thing that may make it look like a bat is swooping down on a human is the remarkable echolocation system that they use to track down insects to eat. Bats use this very pinpoint precision to zero in on the insects. Insects are attracted to humans due to our heat and smell. That means that bats may appear to be swooping in on humans but the reality is that they are looking for their meal of insects.

Myth: Bats are dirty rodents.

Fact: Bats are not rodents, and have little in common with mice or rats. Bats are not filthy little critters either. They are meticulous about keeping their fur clean and groomed. The smell associated with bats is due to the accumulation of guano and urine below their roosting areas.

 

Bat Facts

Finding out that there are bats in your house can be alarming!  Due to scary movies and a lack of education, bats have gotten quite a bad reputation over the years.  Concerns such as the spread of rabies or blood sucking bat varieties may make you run in terror at even the thought of a bat in your home.  So what facts do you need to know about having a possible bat infestation? Let’s sort out fact from fiction in regards to bats.

 

  • Bats are beneficial believe it or not!  The bats in our neighborhoods are insectivores, which means they live on insects. They consume a tremendous number of night flying insects every night (up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour!) during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. For this reason, bats are a fantastic method of natural insect control.
  • Bats are not rodents.  Bats are not dirty rats or mice.  In fact, bats tend to be meticulous about keeping their fur clean and groomed.
  • Bats are not blind.  They use a form of natural radar called echolocation to enhance their vision by emitting sounds that bounce off of objects in their path, sending echoes back to the bats. From these echoes, the bats can determine the size of objects, how far away they are, how fast they are traveling and even their texture, all in a split second.
  • Bat habitats- Bats live all over the world except the polar regions.  Bats roost in trees, caves, mines and barns — anyplace that provides shelter from the weather, protection from predators and seclusion for rearing the animals’ young. This means your attic, crawl spaces and any space that they can squeeze themselves into at your home is fair game for raising their young. .
  • Don’t worry about blood sucking bats!  While vampire bats do eat blood they lick it not suck it and are only found in Central and South America.  The northeast has brown bats and big black bats but no vampire bats.
  • The rabies worry.  Fewer than 10 people in the last 50 years have contracted rabies from North American bats. Due to movies and television, bats are thought to be germ machines, bringing disease and toxins to innocent victims. Not true. Bats avoid people. If you are bitten by a bat, go to the doctor, but don’t start making funeral arrangements — you’ll probably be fine.

If you find bat guano (bat poop) or see them flying around and near your home at night, you may have a bat issue in your home.  Contact your pest control company to discuss a solution.