Bats in the Attic: How Did That Happen?
You’ve got bats in the attic — how did that happen? Bats may enter your home for any number of reasons. Here’s what you should know about how and why this may have happened.
How it Happened
Unlike other wildlife, bats don’t always want to be inside your home. Yet, bats around the outside of your home may find themselves indoors for several reasons. If startled, they may search for the nearest opening to seek shelter from danger. This could include chimneys, open doors or windows, and holes on your house. Since bats weigh less than two ounces, they can fit through openings as small as your finger.
Bats may also end up in your home if a pregnant female has recently given birth. Pregnant bats seek protected nesting sites, like buildings and trees, to nurse their offspring. Obvious openings around your house may be inviting for these bats. Be aware that sometimes pregnant bats gather and form colonies. Thus, openings may be inviting more than one bat into your home.
What Attracts Them
Contrary to popular belief, bats are not attracted to light. Instead, they’re interested in insects that swarm around lights like moths and mosquitoes. When it comes to nesting sites, bats prefer dry, dark areas. Temperature also plays a significant role in bat attraction. A nesting site must be warm but not too hot for bats. Since some species are often found nesting in trees, they’re also attracted to wood framing in attics. Additionally, bats will seek nesting sites that are close to sources of food and water. They’re willing to travel up to one-quarter of a mile to reach these areas. Just because there isn’t a pond or stream in your yard doesn’t mean there won’t be bats in your attic.
Where They Hide
A bat may hide anywhere in your home, depending on how and where it entered. If a bat flew into the chimney, it could escape through the chimney flue and fly into your living spaces. If it entered through an opening of your roof, it could be hiding in corners of your attic. Many sources recommend that you close doors to prevent bats from entering the living space in your home. This may be due to bats’ tendency to follow air flows within houses. It is possible that bats may become stuck between walls, as well. That said, do not assume that noises coming from your walls are bats, as there are many things that may go “bump” in the night.
How to Remove Them
Wondering how to get rid of bats in the attic? Before you attempt any do-it-yourself solutions, first consider that a majority of bat species are federally protected. Touching bats is never recommended, as they can carry rabies and other pathogens that can cause disease. Additionally, bat droppings can contain pathogens which can cause histoplasmosis, an infection that can be severe if left untreated. Side effects include coughing, chest and joint pain, and fever.
The safe and simple solution for how to get bats out of the attic is to call Terminix®. Our specialists can help determine how and why bats entered your home. To protect against further infestation, we may also be able to help remove these species so that you can enjoy your home without any unwanted guests.