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How Dangerous are Bats Inside the House?
How Dangerous are Bats Inside the House?

Problems bat cause in your house

As a bat removal company, the most common question we get asked is, “Is it dangerous to have bats inside the house?” The short answer is yes! However, there are a couple of different reasons for this. We’ll go through some of the most common problems you’ll have if there are bats in your home or building. If this is an immediate issue please don’t hesitate and call us or a professional today. Bats are protected creatures but the harm they can cause to homes or buildings is nothing to mess around with. 

Rabies

Reason number one is that bats have rabies. Yes, they carry the rabies disease. Rabies is most commonly transmitted through a bite. Exposure to rabies can also occur from contact between infected saliva or nerve tissues and open wounds or the mucous membranes of the eye, nose, or mouth. The most common way rabies is transferred is from careless handling of the bat. It’s for that reason that bats should never be handled or touched.

Guano

Another reason bats inside your house can be a hazard is their guano (bat droppings). Why? Guano contains histoplasmosis, which is a disease that primarily affects the lungs and can be life-threatening, especially for those with a weakened immune system. Histoplasmosis is transmitted when a person inhales spores from the fungus that grows on bat droppings. Fortunately, attics that have harbored bats for many years and contain sizable accumulations of guano are not generally located where human occupants are easily exposed.

Bat Colonies

Bats are dangerous in your house because they will rapidly start a colony, and a sizeable amount of guano will quickly build up. Even if you have a small colony, it’s best to get them dealt with as soon as possible. You might be surprised to learn that bats can live for a long time and once they find a place they live, they will stay there until they are removed. As we said above, a colony grows very quickly each time a mother gives birth to its pups in the summertime. Then those pups end up joining the colony. After a few years, you can end up with thousands of bats! YUCK!! 

Problems Will Change Over Time

When you have bats in your home, the problems they bring can range from minor to severe. The minor problems begin sounds The occasional unnerving squeaking or rustling of bats or bat wings in your attic, chimney, or walls. If a bat gets stuck and dies somewhere in your walls or elsewhere in your home, you will start to smell an unpleasant stench of the decaying bat. If you do not get dead bats out of your house, it will lead to larger problems.

  • Odor: One of the larger problems with having bats in your home is the very strong and unpleasant odor from the guano! As we said, bats will quickly form a colony, and before you know it, you can have at least 40 bats leaving their guano behind on a daily basis. That adds up to a whole lot of guano!
  • Wall Damage: Bats can also damage your home. They can chew into your walls causing damage to insulation, and wiring. Bat only need a dime-sized hole to get where they want to go. Now, before this horror movie goes too far, no, bats don’t have strong enough teeth to chew through your walls and get into your home. Unlike a squirrel, bats don’t develop teeth strong enough to chew through shells to get at their food. Bats can have success gnawing at the material that makes up the walls of your house, the odds of them biting their way through walls is very slim. Bats might chew on wood to strengthen its teeth some, but all it will wind up with is sharper teeth and a few splinters in its mouth. Ouch!
  • Wire Damage: The only thing that bats might be able to chew through is very small coatings of plastic or rubber. There have, however, been plenty of cases where bats have chewed through some wiring and caused a short and even started a fire. So, no, a bat is not going to chew its way into your home. However, if you have a board or a piece of siding that has come loose and is being held on by glue, a nail or other material then yes, a bat can and will work its way through those openings by using its wings and extremely strong feet to get the board or siding loose enough for them to find their way inside. Then they will go into the walls or the attic, wherever they can find warmth.

Bats Will Hibernate During Cold Weather

Once temperatures drop, bats will hibernate and slow their metabolism way down to store their fat for the winter. They do this because there is no food for them to eat during the winter months. If you end up with a bat in your home during the winter or cold months then you can not move them. Why you might ask? Two reasons. One reason is, they are hibernating during this time and conserving their fat for the winter months. Another reason is that bats are an endangered species. It’s not legal to kill them; they must leave your home on their own. Bats will leave once they wake up and will be hungry and thirsty. Once the bats have left your home, it’s smart to have experts come and seal up all the areas the bats use to enter your home because as long as they have the access they will continue to come back to it. 

Ways to Keep Bats from Entering Your House

If you have bats in your house, a good way to find out where they are entering is to watch at dusk and you will see them leave in a big group. They will leave the same way they came in. Another way to detect them is to look for dark spots where the bats leave behind urine and guano. Once you’ve located those spots, you can close off the access points to those spots. It’s best to use silicon and galvanized steel mesh to close up all the access points that you find. If you use a foam then the bats will chew through that and get right back into your home. It’s smart to use a one-way valve, no bigger than a water bottle, as well, so that way the bats can leave but can not get back in.