You can determine if you have bats in your attic by looking for droppings, oily streaks, or stains on your ceiling. Also hearing squeaking noises from above, experiencing a very pungent odor in your attic, or finding live or dead bats in your home are also a clear indication of bats in your attic.
Bats in your attics can be highly hazardous to both pets and humans. This is because bats carry lethal diseases that you and your pets can contract easily.
Bats’ droppings are also corrosive and carry these dangerous diseases. It’s therefore advisable to regularly inspect your home and attics to ensure you don’t have a bat infestation.
In this guide, we’ll look at determining if you have bats in the attics, why they’re dangerous, and how to handle the bat removal process.
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How do you know if you have bats in your attic?
Attics provide a comfortable home for most bat species, as they prefer ark, sheltered, warm, and dry places. Bats prefer dark corners and attics because they’re nocturnal animals.
Attics offer an ideal shelter than anywhere else in your home, and they’ll get in and roost there. Ensuring you have resolve any bat problem in your home is the difference between spending a few dollars on bat removal or thousands on attic repairs and removal combined.
Bats in the attic: 6 signs
Below we will look at bats in attic signs that confirm bats in your home. If you come across any of these signs, it’s advisable to contact a humane pest control company to help with the animal removal process as quickly as possible.
Bat guano or bat droppings around your home
Bat droppings are pebbly and dark-colored and can amass around your home whenever there is a bat infestation. You’ll typically find the guano accumulated in piles around the exit and entry points.
As mentioned, bat guano poses detrimental health risks to humans and pets, so if you come across it, strive to stay as away from it as possible. Once you find this accumulation, this is a sure sign that bats are living in your attic, and it’s time to reach out to your pest control company for a thorough inspection.
Oily streaks around certain sections of your house
Bats can enter your attic in several ways, and in the process, they tend to leave behind black, oily, and streaky stains along the entry points. When bats are exiting or entering the small holes to and from their nesting area, the oil produced by their skin accrues at the entry points, becoming an apparent visual sign of their presence.
Some common entry points into your home include:
- under the soffit
- around windows
- between siding and brick
- through cracks in the chimney
- around the dormer
- through the fascia
- under the roof line
- through holes made by other types of wildlife
Squeaking sounds in the attic
Although they’re silent flyers, bats sometimes can be heard in your attic. Often, you’ll hear them when they’ve been trapped somewhere behind the walls or in your attic.
In such instances, you can hear them as they try to escape, hitting the air vents, drywall, or the wooden structure of your home.
Strong, pungent odor in the attic
When you enter the attic, a sure sign of bats in your home is the pungent ammonia-type odor. Bat urine and droppings create a strong, pungent odor that’s very irritating.
This is why you’ll see bat control experts wearing masks and other protective gear when removing them. You’ll notice that the odor doesn’t go away, indicating that a bat or another pest has set camp in your attic or walls.
Stains on your ceiling
Bats make marks when they enter and exit the crevices and small spaces in your home. These stains will appear on the siding or near your roof.
A build-up of bat droppings on your attic floor could leak downwards, causing yellow or brown staining. These may appear on either the ceiling or even your walls.
Live or dead bats around your property
Sights of bats always hovering around your home every evening is a sure sign that bats reside in your attic. Homeowners with a bat infestation will see anywhere from one to two bats flying around to swarms flying in or out of the attic throughout the night.
You could also see your pet dog or cat bringing a bat home. In addition, coming across numerous dead bats around your home is a sign of several issues.
One frightening reason could be the bats in the area have become sick or have contracted a deadly disease. It actually would be best if you had your attic inspected as soon as possible to prevent dangerous diseases and the extinction of bats.
What sounds do bats make in the attic?
Bats can be heard inside your attics and walls. You can hear their squeaking and chirping vocalizations. Other sounds include scurrying, shuffling, fluttering, and scratching.
Bats use echolocation to locate prey and navigate when flying. However these ultrasound frequencies, emitted from their nose and mouth, are above the range of human hearing.
Can you get sick from bats in the attic?
Flying foxes and bats can carry viruses and bacteria, affecting pets and humans, but the infection risk is low. So, you should not handle bats if you’re not vaccinated or trained.
Bats carry several diseases, including Australian bat lyssavirus, ABLV, which is a virus that can affect humans through bats’ saliva coming into contact with broken skin, bat scratches, bites, or the mucous membrane.
Other diseases include the Hendra virus, which can affect humans and horses, and histoplasmosis, a rare lung infection that affects humans and animals. Bats also cause rabies, leptospirosis, and salmonella.
Should I remove bats from the attic?
If you suspect that bats are in your attic, there are some essential factors to consider before removing them from your home. Several species of bat are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, which prohibits killing bats.
Bats benefit the environment as they help pollinate and eat thousands of bugs such as mosquitoes daily. However, there are in fact some strategies you can use to get rid of bats from your home.
- Bat removal devices or repellents
- Sealing up holes
- Cleaning up the mess
- Installing bright lights, mirrors, old CDs, mylar balloons, and strips of aluminum foil
- Use of mothballs
- Use of eucalyptus, cinnamon, and white phenol
- Essential oil spray including peppermint, cloves, cinnamon, mint, and eucalyptus
- Bat exclusions such as netting
Will bats leave on their own?
Eventually, bats will always leave your attic to find food. Instead of killing them, it may be best to allow them to leave on their own.
Once the bats fly out in the evening, you can use exclusion where you attach a netting over the entry point, usually a crack or a hole. The opening at the bottom ensures the bats will safely leave the netting but won’t be able to get back in.