Bats play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to keep insect populations down and to pollinate plants. While some people even enjoy viewing bats in their natural habitat, they suddenly become a major nuisance when they decide to take up residence in your house or commercial building.
Unfortunately, bat infestations pose a few challenges regarding control methods since they are a protected type of wildlife in Tennessee. They can also carry diseases that are transmittable to humans.
As a property owner, you need to use this information to help keep your building clear of bat activity.
Recognize the Signs of an Infestation
In the wild, bats tend to prefer to roost in caves or trees. However, they may seek shelter in any building that provides them with a safe place to birth their young. Typically, sighting a bat inside of a building is a sure sign that an infestation has taken root.
You may also notice other signs of bat activity around your house. Listen for small squeaks that emanate from unused areas of the building such as the chimney or attic. If you find damaged areas on the outside of your building, you may also notice dark smudges along the edges of holes or cracks that the bats use as entry points.
Like other types of wildlife, bats also leave droppings—guano—wherever they live. These droppings are irregularly shaped and resemble brown pieces of rice. While they look similar to the droppings left by rodents, a bat's guano will have speckles that are created from insect parts.
Guano has a distinctive odor that is similar to ammonia. When an infestation goes on long enough for the droppings to accumulate, you may also notice a foul stench in the areas that the bats inhabit.
Keep Your Distance
You should always approach any type of wildlife with caution. If you spot a bat in your house, keep in mind that they can bite if they feel threatened. A bite from an infected bat can also transmit diseases such as rabies to humans in addition to being painful.
While you may notice if a bat bites you, keep in mind that a bite mark from these critters is not always obvious. Always err on the side of caution and have small children and people with disabilities checked out by a doctor if you find a bat alone with them in the room.
Understand the State Laws
Do-it-yourself bat removal methods are not only dangerous, but they could also land you in trouble with the law if you do not comply with state regulations. In Tennessee, you must get proper approval before you can begin the process of excluding bats from your property.
Use Caution With the Clean Up
Bat guano can also transmit a disease called Histoplasmosis. This illness primarily infects the lungs, but it can affect other parts of your body as well. Usually, the transmission of this disease occurs when the droppings are disturbed and spores are released into the air.
Ideally, you should have a professional help with the clean up after the infestation is completely addressed. Since the damage from guano can be extensive, you will need to make sure that any contaminated materials such as drywall and insulation are removed and replaced using the proper safety precautions.
In most instances, the practice of exclusion is the desired method for eliminating bat infestations. During this process, you need to arrange for professional bat removal services that can identify entry points to your property that the bats are using.
If it is not nesting season, then special devices can be placed on these entry points that allow bats to leave but not be able to get back inside. This allows the bats to move to more appropriate places for roosting so that they can continue to benefit the environment.
When you have a wildlife problem on your property, Bio-Lab Pest & Termite Control has the right strategy to get it under control. Call us for an inspection to positively identify your bat problem so that it is treated the right way.