Bats In Homes & Attics
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We get calls daily about bats in homes and businesses in the Henrico, Richmond, Glen Allen, Midlothian and Charlottesville areas of Virginia. The callers are often frantic because they have a bat in their house and don’t know what to do or who to call. To effectively get rid of bats, you must first understand their behavior and the problems they can cause.
Bats getting into homes usually fall into three categories.
- The Random Bat – Random bats are bats that enter through an open door or windows. This type of entry is impossible to protect against and most often occurs during the month of August when young bats are starting to fly but can happen year around when bats are active.
- Nonmaternal Colony of Bats – This situation is very common throughout Virginia. This is normally a situation where bats are overwintering in a home or business. While numbers can be high, usually there are fewer bats than in a normal maternity colony roosting in an attic or wall void area. This roosting situation can result in bats getting into the interior of homes or businesses, especially during the months of October through February when these bats are overwintering in attics and void areas of homes. A warm spell or a drop in temperature during this hibernation period will often awaken the bats as they try to find a more comfortable temperature and end up in the occupied living areas of homes. This type of bat situation is ended through exclusion.
- Maternity Colony – This situation consists of female bats that are using attics or voids in homes as an area to give birth to the baby bats and raise their young. A maternity colony is often the most common situation and usually repeats itself each year as female bats born in the structure return each year to repeat the birthing process.
This trait can result in bats continuing to seek entry into a previously used structure. Many bat removal experts who have successfully excluded bats from a structure for years sometimes find that these same bats have returned when a new roof or other construction work occurs. Storm damage can also cause this problem if not quickly addressed. This situation is ended through bat exclusion.
Bat exclusion is the process of ridding a structure of bats and bat proofing it so they cannot get back in. Bats can enter a structure through construction gaps and other areas common openings that occur during the construction of our homes and businesses. Bats aren’t rodents and don’t chew into our homes, but just like a small rodent they can enter through gaps as small as a ¼” by 1 inch.
Generally, bat exclusion must address the entire home. To do otherwise would be like locking your front door while leaving the back door open. Bats raised in a structure are driven to continue living in a home or business even after they have been removed and excluded. An effective bat proofing job leaves bats no choice, but to find other housing opportunities in some other structure.
Exclusion is the proven method of bat control and is recommended by certified bat removal companies and bat protection organizations. Exclusion is the only effective long-term solution for a maternal colony of bats occupying a home or business. It also greatly reduces the risk of a single bat entering the interior of a home. However, no professional in the wildlife control industry can ever guarantee that a single bat will never enter your home due to factors beyond our control.
Wildlife control technicians that engage in bat removal services should be aware of the bat birthing season which runs from May through July in Virginia. This “Black Out” period is the time when young bats are flightless and unable to survive without their mother. We never want to orphan baby bats! Many people believe that the “Black Out” period is only to protect the baby bats, but it also provides benefits for the homeowners by helping to keep bats out of the living areas of the home and problems associated with dead bats.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources strongly encourages wildlife removal companies and homeowners to strictly adhere to these black-out periods.
For additional information on bats click here.
This website also has great information on the bat removal process.
You can also talk to one of our local bat removal experts by calling (804) 729-0046 today!