Bats are the only mammal species that are capable of true flight. Their wings are an evolutionary adaptation of the same bones that make up our hands. The wing is made up of long, flat, and flexible finger bones providing the structure over which elastic skin stretches. Because their wings are so thin and flexible, the flight of bats is more controlled than that of birds. Maneuvering swiftly during flight allows the bat to easily catch prey or even drink while in flight.
An important and beneficial species, bats are often feared and maligned by humans. With over one thousand species around the globe, bats play a major role in controlling insect populations. About forty species live in the United States and Canada, most of them insectivorous. Bats use echolocation, like sonar, to find insects as they fly. Bats emit high frequency sounds that bounce back to their sensitive ears. They use this to navigate at night or in a dark cave, catch flying insects, and avoid obstacles. Prodigious eaters, one bat can consume six hundred to one thousand insects per hour, an amazing number.
Their service of ridding the environment of harmful insects is often overlooked as people pass along negative myths about bats. Beliefs that bats will intentionally tangle in hair or are all bloodsuckers are erroneous. The old phrase, blind as a bat, is also incorrect. Studies have shown that bat vision is similar to that of humans. These little mammals are an integral part of the environment. In locations where their numbers have declined dramatically, an accompanying increase in insects that cause disease in humans or crop loss usually occurs. Seven species in the United States are close to extinction. In the winter months when food is unavailable, bats migrate or find warm spots to hibernate. Normally they choose old trees or caves for roosts. Due to habitat losses, many are now spending the winter months in attics of homes. Here they hang by their feet, upside down, and wrap their wings around for warmth. Bats breed in the fall, gestate over the winter months, and give birth to live young in the spring.
Breeding colonies can also take up residence in attics. Prior to the increased awareness of the beneficial role bats play, bat roosts in homes were eradicated with extermination. New techniques have been developed that save the bats, but remove them from the home. Exterminators and homeowners alike can use these methods to humanely remove bats. There are serious health concerns if a bat colony resides in a home, so using the bat exclusion process rids the home of the bats humanely and permanently.
A pest control company will observe the home over several evenings, watching for exiting bats. Once holes are located they are covered with one-way devices, allowing remaining bats to leave but none can return. After several days all holes are plugged, and the bats are now gone from the attic. Providing a nearby bat house gives them an alternate roosting site.
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Posted by Cheryl Hanson - July 13, 2011 at 7:59 am
Categories: Bats And Mice Tags: Attics, bats, Beneficial Species, Blind As A Bat, Bloodsuckers, Crop Loss, Dark Cave, Elastic Skin, Evolutionary Adaptation, Finger Bones, Flying Insects, from, Habitat Losses, Harmful Insects, High Frequency Sounds, home, Humanely, Insect Populations, Insectivorous Bats, Mammal Species, Negative Myths, Old Trees, remove, Sensitive Ears, True Flight
Video of Steve Andert of Creature Catchers Wildlife Management channel 3 news Sacramento. Bat problems.
Video Rating: 5 / 5
The methods used for bat removal have nothing in common with the methods normally used for animals such as squirrels, groundhogs, and others. Instead of using traps, bat control is done by using a systematic exclusion program. It is illegal to use poisons, and it is illegal to kill some bats. Studies have shown bats have returned from distances of up to 150 miles, so trapping and “moving” bats only creates a false sense of security for homeowners who see the bats “caught and hauled away”.
The bat exclusion process requires several steps. The first step requires an observation of the structure shortly after sunset to locate the entrance/exit holes. This is done on a fairly clear night, as rainy and windy conditions are not favorable for bats to locate flying insects. The observation night can be at any time during the spring, summer, or fall.
The second step involves sealing all gaps, cracks, and holes, leaving the primary access hole(s) open. This prevents them from finding an alternate access point into the structure.
Step 3 is to install one-way exclusion devices that allow the bats to leave their roost site but not return into the structure.
Exclusions are usually performed in late summer and early fall. Excluding the mother bats during that period would create a problem even worse than having the bats in your attic, as the young bats would die without their mother to feed and care for them. The summer observations allow experts to be prepared for exclusions when the proper time comes. On many structures they will perform much of the sealing and repairs before the exclusion season begins.
Exclusions can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the size of the structure, equipment required, materials for repairs, labor time for repairs and sealing. The cost for bat-proofing varies greatly depending on the combination of the previous factors. Some structures may require high-lifts or other equipment to perform a bat exclusion and bat-proofing. In some instances the primary entrance/exit holes are the only access point’s available, and basic repairs and exclusion may be sufficient.
Bat Inspection- This is to determine the species of colonizing bats and if young are present, active entry points and potential re-entry points, post-exclusion. This step will allow a bat control professional to give the customer an accurate quote to “bat-proof” the entire structure.
Bat Removal- Colony removal is achieved with mechanical devices called “check valve” or “bat valve”. This is a one-way door that will allow bats the ability to exit the structure but, not re-enter the structure.
Bat Exclusion- Bat exclusion is extremely tedious work. Technicians must work within very small tolerances. They must be very detail-oriented and very thorough. Failure to properly seal one ¼ inch gap can result in a failed exclusion.
Performing an inspection can be time consuming, as we closely inspect the entire outer structure. Performing an inspection requires every inch of the structure to be checked thoroughly, top to bottom. We inspect the rooftop and check the lower roof lines, along with all dormers, window frames, and other potential bat entry points.
Some insurance companies may cover bat exclusions, since they are not rodents. Most homeowners policies will not cover any rodent damage or removal, but since bats are not rodents contacting your agent prior to exclusion is suggested. Oddly enough, there are many insurance companies will not cover the exclusion cost, but will cover the guano removal and clean-up program.
Daniel is a professional NWCO. Service area northern Michigan. Graduate from the National Wildlife Damage Management Academy, he is a Certified Bat Exclusion Professional, Certified with the Michigan Animal Damage Control Association. http://www.vamoosevarmint.com/bat_control_pest_removal.htm
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Posted by Cheryl Hanson - July 6, 2011 at 4:51 am
Categories: Bats And Mice Tags: Access Point, Bat Control, Bat Exclusion, Bat Proofing, Bat Removal, Exclusions, Exit Holes, False Sense Of Security, Flying Insects, Groundhogs, Labor Time, Mother Bats, Poisons, Proofing, Proper Time, Sense Of Security, Several Steps, Several Thousand Dollars, Spring Summer, Step 3, Windy Conditions