Bats are magnificent animals that are often misunderstood. In addition to being the only mammals that are capable of flying, they also feed on a variety of insects that are bothersome to humans. However, many people tend to overlook the benefits that bats can bring and instead, concentrate on the numerous complications they may cause. As a result, the presence of bats in North American homes have been an ongoing issue that can easily be helped with the right tools, techniques and help.
If you are a homeowner who is currently experiencing bat problems at home, being able to identify the bat species you are dealing with can be quite helpful. Provided in the section below, continue reading on for selected bat species found in North America.
Little brown bat: With glossy brown fur and a short length of 5-6 centimeters long, this species is by far the most abundant bat species in the Northeast. It is insectivorous and has a wingspan that can measure up to 11 inches.
With a diet consisting of high protein sources -insects, the average little brown bat can consume up to 3,000 insects a night. Moreover, a colony consisting of 100 bats has the potential to consume more than a quarter of a million mosquitoes and other insects. Most species including the little brown bat, are often found roosting in caves, buildings and under bridges.
Big brown bat: Unlike the little brown bat, this squirrel species embodies glossy copper-coloured fur and a black coloured membrane (on the face, ears, wings and tail). The big brown bat is also relatively long compared to the little brown bat; it measures a mere 10-13 centimeters, weighing up to 18 grams and has a wingspan of roughly 13 inches.
This species is highly adaptable and can be found in both urban and rural areas. It is also insectivorous, which indicates a regime of insects -primarily beetles. The big brown bat has strong teeth that are able to tear through the thick outer shell of its prey. Other food sources include moths, flies, mosquitoes and wasps. However, some bats in other countries consume fruits and nectar. This species is often found roosting in caves, buildings and under bridges.
Mexican free-tailed bat: This species is a medium sized bat with fur that can range from red to brown or grey. They can grow up to 9 centimeters long and reach a wingspan of nearly 11 inches.
With an insectivorous diet that heavily consists of moths, the mexican free-tailed bat skillfully chooses its roosting location close to water; the water attracts the bat’s favoured insects. Interestingly enough, this species is capable of consuming up to 50% of its body weight in insects daily. Similar to other bat species, the mexican free-tailed bat is often found roosting in caves, buildings and under bridges.
Townsend’s big-eared bat: With light to dark brown coloured fur and tanned bellies, the big-eared bat can measure as long as 10 centimeters with a wingspan of 12 to 13 inches. They are medium sized bats. A few unique features that define this species are their outsized ears (which are often erect), and their lumped noses. They also have two facial glands on the sides of their faces that look similar to a pair of mittens.
The big-eared bat is also insectivorous and heavily consumes moths in addition to other insects. This species can be found roosting in mines, buildings and under bridges, but primarily in caves.
Bats and Rabies
Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system and eventually makes its way up, targeting the brain. Mammals are susceptible to contracting this fatal disease, but among these animals, bats are very unlikely carriers of the virus.
Many view bats as rabid creatures that all carry rabies. However, this is false. In fact, reports show that less than 1% of bats have contracted the rabies virus. Despite the very low probability of encountering a rabid bat, rabies is a fatal disease and should not be taken lightly. Fatality is determined once symptoms are visible, so it is important to rid your property and household of any wild animals -including bats. If you encounter a rabid bat, do not attempt to reach out to the animal. Call for bat control; SOS Wildlife Control can provide you and your family with the bat removal services needed to ensure your safety.
Bats in Homes
Two common scenarios of unwanted bats entering a building include: a single bat flying into the building or a colony of bats settling (roosting) within the building. With the presence of a single bat or a colony of bats inside a household, there are advantages and disadvantages that North American homeowners face.
Bats are carnivores -specifically insectivores, and this an indicator of their diet that heavily consists of insects. With this being said, having a bat or a colony of bats settle in your garage, roof or attic space ultimately results in the natural removal of unwanted bugs and insects. This way, all of your critter problems will be solved and having a bat infestation is not the worst case.
Although bat infestations are somewhat of a help to homeowners, they do lead to a large sum of issues that may lead to extensive health risks and property damage. One major problem that bat infestations bring forward is the accumulation of fecal droppings known as bat guano. In addition to the risk of contracting rabies from bats, bat guano poses the health risk of contracting a disease known as histoplasmosis.
Histoplasmosis is a disease that is obtained by the inhaling and exposure to bat droppings. Most people that contract histoplasmosis will do so unknowingly, as symptoms are often unnoticeable. Those with notable symptoms experience a cold, fever, fatigue and dizziness. Cases of histoplasmosis are almost never severe; most people naturally recover from it without the help of medical attention.
Bat guano can also be difficult to remove once completely dried, and may emit a faint odor once a large amount has accumulated.
Fortunately, bat control is easy to do! Below are a few simple solutions you can follow to keep your home clean and bat free.
- Seal any cracks, holes or gaps in your home that can serve as possible entry points for bats to enter and exit through. Focus on your roof and attic, as those are the most common household areas to find bats roosting.
According to the “Critter Gitter”, there are 3 main things that lure animals towards humans: food, water and shelter. To avoid attracting unwanted bats to your property, ensure that entry access points to shelter, food and water are all covered.
- Install a bat house on your property. This provides home-seeking bats with the shelter they need while keeping the inside of your home bat free. If your bat house eventually becomes the home to a nursery of baby bats, be sure to install a pup catcher as well. This prevents the young from falling out of the bat house.
- Contact SOS Wildlife Control for effective wildlife management and bat removal services at (647) 994-9453!
If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Inc., we provide wildlife control services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait, call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection, removal and prevention to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.
Call SOS Wildlife 1.800.981.0330