Typical Pest Species: Bats

Bats are the most beneficial mammal for insect control next to the Pest Control Technician. They are intimidating yet extremely beneficial to the human race, they are a perfect model for a super-hero. Many people recognize the need for bats, especially those with mosquito problems. They build or buy bat houses in an attempt to lure bats into roosting near their homes.

Unfortunately, bats are not a real good judge of human nature and don’t realize that not all people like them. They don’t understand that attics and chimneys were not necessarily built as bat houses, thus they become pests.

The most common bat in the area is the Little Brown Myotis. It is also one of the most common throughout the United States. The excretion, or guano, is nitrate rich and can be used as fertilizer. In the summer they form “nursery” colonies usually in buildings or other structures. In the winter, they hibernate and may fly hundreds of miles to a hibernation site, usually a cave, where they remain for two to four months. During this hibernation time they may emerge once every two weeks on a warm winter evening, but do not feed.

They mate in the fall, but the sperm remains inactive in the females reproductive tract until Spring when the eggs are fertilized. Young are born in late may through July usually in a building where they are roosting for the season.

If at all possible, we do not kill bats, we exclude them from areas they are undesired. Chimneys require removal and then capping the chimney so they can not return. When they have entered a dwelling and are co-existing with the residents that pay the bills we remove them and repair their means of entry.

This is not always as easy as it sounds. Bats like mice, do not need a gaping hole to enter a dwelling. A quarter of an inch is enough.

This picture is from an antiquated hotel attic transformed into a nursing home. There were hundreds of bats, and the guano was several feet deep We removed the bats with the help of a disinfectant at night, then screened all entry points. The bats took up residence in an abandoned building nearby, and everyone was happy.

All structures are different, and exclusion methods vary with the structure. Estimates are free in the Houston  area as I am sure they are by other companies throughout the U.S.

There are some repellents on the market that work. Most of them contain Naphthalene or mothballs. If the roosting site is fairly new, removal of guano and placement of naphthalene will work.