I was recently telling a friend about the bat infestation that we were dealing with, and she was truly taken aback. I could almost read the horror on her face as she contemplated our plight. Although she was smart to be a bit scared, her reaction was also overly dramatic, and likely based on the misinformation that seems to prevail about bats.
Many people don’t realize that bats are not the blood suckers that we see on TV, made very unpopular by a certain count from Transylvania. The truth is that bats aren’t really out to suck your blood or turn you into the walking undead, but they are harmful to human health if you allow them to gain a foothold in your house.
Moreover, if they get in your actual living quarters, they can wreak havoc and scare the bejeezus out of you in a heartbeat. Not to mention if one gets stuck in your hair, you’re going to have a real traumatic time getting it out.
Because I knew all these things, I was alarmed but not petrified when I realized that I had bats living in my roof. Yes, it was creepy. Yes, I was worried about the health problems that can result from breathing in the fumes that come from bat droppings. And because I knew all these things in advance, I knew that I needed help getting rid of the bats living in the upper echelons of my home, namely my attic.
I called out a wildlife removal specialist right away, not because I was scared of the bats per se, but mostly because I know a lot about bat urine and feces. A couple quick searches on the web will reveal local services like: http://www.ncwildliferemoval.com/bat.html. Make sure they are properly licensed in your state before authorizing any work.
You see bats love to live in attics, and that’s usually where they’ll end up when they get in the home. They will squeeze their way through cracks and gaps around your roof line, gable vents, or chimney. In fact, bats can enter the home when there’s just a little tiny hole the size of the tip of a finger.
Once they get in and start to roost, they’ll start to defecate and urinate all over. This causes staining in the attic and horrible odors. Bats are also carriers of a few dozen diseases, including a lung disease known as histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is caused by spores from a fungus that manifests on guano, which means, in bat-speak, poop.
It’s also important to note that bats are the most common cause of rabies exposure in humans, although not all bats carry rabies. Still, getting rid of any bats is important. When you get one bat in the attic, they’ll keep inviting friends to join them and before you know it, you’ll be overwhelmed with the stench they produce.
The technician who came out to rid our home of these pesky little critters was very professional, and he came armed with the equipment that he needed to exclude the bats from reentry once they were out and about for their nightly festivities. When they returned, they were sorry to see that we had hung out the “no vacancy” sign by sealing up all possible points of entry.
I’m glad we didn’t wait much longer, since the damage done by our infestation was minimal. A few more weeks and I would have probably needed to replace insulation, wall boards, and flooring near their roosting spot.