Ontario 2017 Homeowner’s Guide to Bats Problems

Bat, a mammal commonly detested by all, deserves a careful understanding if not love. Present in eighteen indigenous forms, bats chiefly live in trees and caves. In modern surroundings, you might find them in barns, houses, tunnels, and bridges. Bat’s behavior varies as per the species. Some of the species, which live at high latitudes, hibernate during winters as they cannot find insect prey during colder months of the year. In order to support an active metabolism, bats need to feed on insects and during winters there are not enough insects in the atmosphere. This is why they hibernate during winters. During hibernation, they cluster upon cave walls or ceilings. During this period, they go into a deep slumber that might last for more than six months.

Bats are Considered as Being RodentsThe nocturnal species of this mammal thrives on night-flying insects. It might surprise you to know that a single bat can eat up to 500 insects in an hour. This proves that bats play an important role in controlling insect pests.

There are a number of myths surrounding bat’s behavior and this makes us think that bats are dangerous and loathe-worthy. Some of them are discussed here.

  • It is often thought that bats attack people. In reality, they might just save you from getting infected by a mosquito. Due to echolocation system, they can locate even a tiny insect flying in complete darkness. When people are out at night for their walks, they end up attracting insects due to heat and smell. This is why bats come swooping for their prey surrounding us and not to attack us.

  • Not all bats have rabies. Less than 1 % of bats ever contract rabies. Though a sick bat will not fear a human or an animal, it is highly unlikely for a bat to contact a person.

  • Many people think that bats are blind. This is because they use their ears more for echolocation. However, it is wrong to rule out that bats are completely blind. Bats can see almost everything as a human can though their vision is not pretty good. They depend on their daylight vision and generally don’t fly during moonless nights.

  • Bats are considered as being rodents. Bats have very little in common with rats and mice. They are very careful about keeping their fur clean. Due to the accumulation of guano and urine below their roosting areas, they emanate an unpleasant smell and appear as filthy to us.

  • Many people consider bats as aggressive. Yes, it is true that they have teeth which are sharp enough to inflict a bite but they do so only to defend themselves. Imagine your reaction if a bat lands on you accidentally. You would certainly try to brush it off and to defend itself the bat might end up biting you.

Before the coming of winters, it is essential to bat-proof your house. Bats which hibernate in your attic might find their way to your living area and disturb your peace. Now, that we have cleared your suspicions about bat behavior, let’s move ahead and look at some of the ways to prevent bats from entering your home during the fall.

  • In preparation for winter, bats will look out for spaces to hibernate and spend the cold seasons of the year. Identify the spaces from which bats can enter and exit the attic of your home. Most commonly they enter points were joined materials have shrunk, broken, or pulled away from each other. They might also enter your attic from louvered vents having loose screening and from areas where flashing has moved away from the roof. Inspecting your attic can reveal a number of such openings which must be sealed during fall. Bat watching can also help you identify such spaces. The right time to stage a bat watch is dawn.

  • All the openings, thus identified, must be sealed appropriately. However, the most important point to be considered prior to moving ahead with your sealing plans is to perform an exclusion. You would never want bats to die, decay, and smell in your attic. Once you are sure that your attic is free of bats, you can go ahead to seal the identified gaps. You can use window screening or a hardware cloth to seal louvered vents or big spaces or cracks present in the structure.

  • Expanding foam insulation or caulking compound can help fill the small cracks appropriately. Once hardened, you can go ahead and paint the area. Check out your local hardware store to find the good quality bat-proofing materials.

  • The most common points through which bats can enter into your living areas from the attic are holes along TV cables, water pipes, cracks in drywall or gaps in ceiling tiles. Other entry points include spaces under doors which lead to attics and closets. Sealing these gaps can prevent bats from entering the living quarters.

  • The right time for bat-proofing is either in the spring (before the bats enter the roost) or in the fall (after the bats have left). If you want to move ahead with bat-proofing even when the bats are still present in the building, you can do this by installing a one-way door after the pups can fly. Through one-way doors, you can ensure that bats leave the building and not re-enter your abode.

  • Chimneys are often ignored. However, it is from them that bats get an easy entry. Installing a chimney cover will help keep bats and also other pests from entering your home.

Hence, keeping bats from entering your home is possible by physically preventing them from entering your attic through holes, gaps, spaces, or cracks in your buildings. Keeping bats from entering your property is not a rocket science. Identify and seal every possible entry point into your home, at the right time of the year, after performing an exclusion, to keep bats away from your building. It is as simple as that.