What does St. Catharines Pest Control and Wildlife Services do to eradicate bats?
Big Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat
The most effective and efficient way to control a bat issue is through exclusion.
Similar to other types of wildlife control methods, bat exclusion begins with an inspection. St. Catharines Pest Control and Wildlife Services will dispatch one of Our Licensed Technicians to come out to your home and thoroughly inspect your roof for any entry points. Once entry points are established, the technician will then install one-way doors over these areas. The one-way door does not trap nor harm the bats in any way; it is completely humane and safe. Once the bats exit through the door they are locked out and unable to re-enter. The technician will also inspect for any other areas where bats may be able to gain entry into your home because after bats are locked out via the one way door, they will fly around the outside of the your home looking for other entry points. The technician will then recommend securing these other entry points to ensure that once the bats are out through the one way door they are unable to get back in. Once the bats do not find any entry points, they will move on.
While exclusion work is the best method in eradicating bats from your home it can only be done certain times of the year. There are two times a year when we are able to do exclusion work for bats. The first is the first three weeks of May we are able to do exclusion work as the bats have come out of hibernation from the winter and it is before they have babies. After the third week of May we cannot do any bat exclusion work because it is baby season. Bats are a protected species in Canada and the U.S. and it is illegal to kill them. Young bats cannot fly and therefore cannot leave the attic through the one-way door. The adult bats go out every night to search for food and since the baby bats are unable to fly they would be locked in the attic. During baby season we have to allow time for the young bats to learn how to fly. After these young bats become mobile, a technician will then be able to exclude all bats from your property. Young bats become mobile around the last week of July.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I do if I find a bat flying around in my house?
Frequently Asked Questions
The safest approach is to call a wildlife control specialist and let them deal with the problem in a professional manner. St. Catharines Pest Control and Wildlife Services know how to handle high stress situations such as this, in a safe and effective way.
If you want to remove the bat yourself, there are 2 different methods.
How do I know if I have a bat infestation?
- Trap the bat in the room in which it is flying around in by closing the door.
This will prevent it from flying around the rest of the house.
Open a window and turn off the lights in that room and leave.
Ideally the bat will fly out of the window; however, this method might not work if it is winter and cold outside, as bats are known to hibernate in the winter months.
- Close the door to the room the bat is flying around in and be sure to keep an eye on it until it eventually lands somewhere.
- The most common landing spot is on top of a curtain rod above a window; however, sometimes a bat will burrow itself into a confined dark area in an attempt to hide. It is important not to let the bat out of your sight.
- At this point you can attempt to catch the bat (be sure to wear thick leather gloves) by putting a plastic container over top of the bat and sliding a lid underneath it to create a sealed container with the bat inside. If successful, be sure to secure the lid with tape.
- If the bat was flying around in areas where people sleep it is essential that you call public health and take the bat into your local animal control office to be tested for rabies.
If you are certain there is no risk of exposure, then you may release the bat. The bat can be released outside up in a tree, as bats often have trouble taking flight from the ground.
Even a single bat found flying around in your home indicates that you have bats in your attic. Bats almost never randomly enter your living space. Another indication of a bat problem is visible bat droppings. You can typically find these droppings on the side of your house or on the ground very close to a wall. Sometimes people confuse bat dropping with mouse droppings; however, mouse droppings will never occur in a cluster outside or close to the wall of your house. Further, bat droppings are slightly larger in size. Bats can sometimes be heard squeaking inside the walls of your home which is an indication of a colony. You may also see them flying out from a hole or crack on or near the roof of your house at dusk.
How did the bat get into my house in the first place?
Bats are nocturnal creatures and will leave their den at night to go looking for food. Bats feel air currents and follow them in order to find their way out of your attic at night.
Sometimes warm air drafts from the basement will rise inside the walls of your house, confusing the bat. The bat will then crawl down inside the wall until it finds an opening to escape from in your unfinished furnace room or other partially finished areas in your basement. The bat will then panic and try to find a way out. Bats spend a lot of time in caves, so their natural instinct is to fly up. This is how they can end up on other levels of your home.
Bats and rabies
Bats have caused the majority of human rabies cases in Canada and the U.S. in recent years. Rabies is much more common in bats than in other animals in Ontario.
Unlike most other mammals in Ontario, bats like to live in large colonies.
Living in close proximity to one other exponentially increases the risk of transmission throughout the population. Another risk factor comes from their tendency to dwell in attics and buildings, which can put the bats in direct contact with people.
Tens of thousands of people across North America are treated for rabies each year after having been bitten by an animal that may have rabies. Health department officials in Ontario recommend that anyone who wakes up with a bat in their room receive treatment for rabies. Sometimes a person might not even know they were bitten, as it can be relatively painless.
If you find a bat flying around in your home or office space it is indicative of a larger problem – and you may in fact have a colony living in your attic. Awareness regarding the facts about bats and rabies can help prevent the spread of infection and keep you and your family safe.
How do I know when a bat is infected with rabies?
It is impossible to know for sure without testing the bat in a lab. A rabid bat is usually one that cannot fly, is active by day and can be found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as a bedroom or even on your lawn). These types of bats are easily accessible. If you decide to approach the bat, it is important to wear protective clothes and thick gloves so as not to put yourself at risk of infection. It is equally as important to warn children not to go near bats. Rabies can also be transmitted to pets, so be sure to keep an eye on any pets that may have come into contact with a bat. The best way to protect your pet is to ensure its vaccinations are up-to-date.
Bats and Insects
Bats are a very valuable species to humans. The two species that live in houses and other buildings across Ontario – the little brown bat and the big brown bat – are insectivores. This means they only eat insects. A single bat colony can dramatically reduce the need for pesticides in a wide variety of crops, especially corn. Bat populations have been known to reduce mosquito populations, as well as significantly reduce populations of spotted cucumber beetles, leaf hoppers, frog hoppers, and other species of insects that are known to cause damage to the agriculture industry and spread plant disease.
General information about big and little brown bats
Bats are an important part of our environment and are protected. Although there are eight species of bats in Ontario, only two of them live in houses and other buildings: The Little Brown bat and The Big Brown Bat.
Bats are unique creatures. They have characteristics that distinguish them from most other mammals including the ability to fly and navigation using echolocation. They can live long lives and have existed for near 50 million years. There are more bats in the world than there are any other type of mammal.
The Little Brown Bat, one of the most common species of bat that resides in Ontario, has recently become victim of a quite serious fungal disease called White-Nose Syndrome.
Scientists say this disease may cause the extinction of the entire species within the eastern half of North America within the next 20 years, possibly sooner. Over one million bats have died because of this disease since 2006.
Big brown bats
The Big Brown Bat is a nocturnal mammal. Despite their name, they tend to be quite small with a wingspan of around 30 cm and weigh about 15 to 26 grams. The big brown bat tends to be more common in urban areas than the little brown bat. In addition, they also tend to have smaller colonies than the little brown bat, and their numbers rarely exceed 150. They have small, sharp teeth that have adapted for the consumption of insects. Their fur is thick, brown and silky in appearance. These bats locate their insect prey through echolocation, which is the transmission of sound waves to locate objects.
Due to the fact that these bats have a very light and fragile skeleton, they have to hang upside down when they sleep. They do not have the strength in their bones to physically stand up.
Big Brown Bats can live up to 20 years in the wild, although they spend most of their lives hibernating. Even During warmer months bats can lower their body temperatures and enter a state known as torpor – which is a decreased state of physiological activity in animals. While in a state of torpor a bat can drop its heart rate down to as low as 5 beats per minute. They do this to conserve energy. Big brown bats may fly to a nearby cave to hibernate during the winter; however, often times they will remain in the attic space and simply hibernate there instead.
Typically you will only find females in colonies that are located in buildings. The reason being is they use the space as an incubator for their babies – as attics are usually quite warm. The female bats raise the pups on their own, and often fly long distances each night to feed. The female bats will give birth between May and June. After about four weeks the pups will be able to fly, and can then go out and forage with their mothers.
Little Brown Bats
The little brown bat is quite similar in appearance to the big brown bat. The one noticeable difference is their smaller wingspan (about 24 cm as opposed to 30 cm) and the pattern of hair on their faces. The little brown bat will travel long distances in the fall in order to hibernate deep in caves in Ohio and New York, mostly due to the stable temperatures, which sit at just above freezing most of the time. Pups are born in the spring and are capable of foraging on their own within four weeks. The little brown bat has a lifespan of up to 30 years, and is most often found in buildings in more rural areas.
What do I do if I have a bat problem?
If you suspect you have a bat problem on your property please do not hesitate to call St.Catharines Pest Control and Wildlife Services, your wildlife control specialist at 1-888-390-PEST (7378)
Our licensed and friendly wildlife removal technicians will be happy to inspect your property and give you a free quote. If you think you have a bat problem it might be in your best interest to contact a professional instead of trying to eradicate the problem yourself, as you could be putting not only yourself, but also your family at risk.