Critter Control of Central Missouri gets rid of bats in a hurry!
Bats have been regarded with superstition and fear in many cultures throughout history due to their nightly flying habits, strange appearance, and the tendency of certain species to feed on the blood of other animals. There are over 40 bat species in the United States and as many as 1,200 different species of bats that live around the world. In Missouri, you’ll typically find little brown bats, big brown bats, gray bats, Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats, silver-haired bats, hoary bats, and evening bats.
While some bats feed on nectar, small mammals, fish, or, like the notorious vampire bats of South America, blood, most bats are insectivores whose feeding habits are incredibly beneficial to humans. The bats that are found in Missouri are insectivores and hunt common pests, such as mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, beetles, and moths, by using their large ears as radar dishes in a process known as echolocation. Large bat colonies can eat up to 500,000 pounds of insects each night.
More information on what bats like to eat.
The most common bat species in the United States are relatively small, with wingspans ranging from 9 to 15 inches. At their tiniest, bats grow between 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length and have a wingspan of about 8 inches. Larger species range from 7 to 8 inches in length and have a wingspan between 21 and 23 inches. The hoary bat is the largest bat in Missouri with a wingspan of up to 16 inches and an approximate weight of 1.5 ounces.
The little brown bat, big brown bat, Mexican free-tailed bat, pallid bat, and evening bat are most often encountered by humans. Each shares common characteristics such as wings that are actually broad webbed hands, short legs with sharp claws, large ears, and the ability to make high-pitched squeaks that aid in navigation and communication. The fur of these bats ranges from light tan or yellowish in color to dark brown and black. Most North American bats have poor eyesight and relatively small eyes. To compensate for their poor eyesight, bats typically have large ears designed for echolocation
More information on what bats look like.
During the day, bats hang out together in groups numbering in the millions. They use their feet to cling upside down to the ceilings of caves, hollow trees, and buildings as they sleep. When dusk approaches, the bats awaken and fly out of cave mouths in large numbers. Darting over open fields, deserts, and yards, most bats hunt throughout the night for flying insects. Bats will use barns, attics, caves, tree cavities, and the undersides of bridges to roost and/or hibernate over winter. They often prefer to roost near ponds or lakes and rarely land on the ground since their small legs cannot support the weight of their bodies. In Missouri, you’ll typically find little brown bats, big brown bats, and evening bats roosting in buildings.
More information on where bats like to live.
Are bats known to enter homes or structures?
Yes. Bats are commonly found in attics and barns, as the mammals enjoy safe, dark places. Hollow trees and bat boxes are ideal places for the creatures to use as a summer roost, as well. During summer months when bat pups are learning to fly, they accidentally enter buildings through open doors or windows. Bats can squeeze into openings as tiny as a quarter of an inch in diameter, such as cracks around doors and windows, pipes and electrical wiring that lead inside, and vents. Little and Big Brown bats are the most common species we have seen adapted to living in attics and buildings in the Central Missouri area.
Do bats harm people or property?
For the most part, bats and humans peacefully coexist. One of the largest problems associated with bat populations is the droppings that accumulate. Although prized in some areas as a rich fertilizer, bat droppings (guano) can make people sick when it collects since it can harbor dangerous fungal spores, such as histoplasmosis. Human infection occurs when people inhale fungal spores. Bats also host ectoparasites, like fleas, flies, ticks, and mites, that endanger the health of humans and pets. Finally, bat urine can cause a pervasive and unpleasant smell, while bat droppings stain ceilings and building visages.
Control and Safety
Despite their reputation for carrying rabies, less than half of one percent of bats actually carry the virus. Nevertheless, bats should never be picked up or grabbed. Since bats will likely target any available structure, homes remain susceptible unless individuals take the time to seal off potential points of entry. In order to keep colonies or individual bats from roosting in attics, proper precautions should be taken to cover or seal all vents, holes, chimneys, windows, and gaps leading inside homes. Little Brown Bats can fit through a gap 3/8” in size, so proper exclusion on a building for these small critters can be a meticulous process. In addition to sealing cracks and openings, illuminating attic spaces and eaves during nighttime hours helps deter bats from roosting, as does placing fans in attics to lower the temperature.
Homeowners must be careful with any attempt to exclude bats by sealing their entry points. While this can prevent colonies from coming back later, trapping an adult or baby bat indoors may force the animal to escape into living spaces or lead to its death.
Trapping and Removal
Since bats may carry disease, individuals should never approach them. Bats also bite and scratch when they feel threatened and can easily injure humans. Critter Control technicians are trained to humanely remove any bat problems plaguing residential and commercial properties. Calling a Critter Control certified wildlife professional to manage the procedure is the best way to ensure safety. While at your property, Critter Control will identify the entry points bats are using to access your home and make recommendations to exclude them permanently.
We can help you get rid of bat problems. Call today: 573.441.0060