Throughout the Winter months we receive calls from clients that report finding a bat in their house. Understandably they have questions about the presence of Bats in their home or bats in their attic in the middle of winter. Why bats would be flying around in their house versus sleeping in a cave somewhere is the number one question. We recently received a call from a client in Trenton that had not one but two bats in their home. After a brief conversation on the phone we dispatched a Wildlife Technician to the client’s home where a further investigation of the attic space and exterior of the home revealed a long standing bat presence. While reviewing the findings, the Wildlife Technician explained the reasoning for bats in their attic in the middle of a long winter.
In Ontario and other parts of Eastern Canada, there are a few Bat species including the Large Brown Bat. And this was the species found in the case of the Trenton Bat Control call. The Large Brown Bat along with other species can be found in residential, Commercial, and Institutional buildings throughout not only the countryside but the city areas as well. These bats will, if the conditions are right, live in these buildings all year long and will not leave them. Other Bats may live in other natural locations versus buildings.
How do they get in the house in the first place? Well in the Trenton Bat case, the bats had entered in the Fall through the soffit between the chimney face and the J Trim that holds the soffit in place. Bats don’t chew their way into your home but take an opportunity to squeeze through small gaps or holes. Once inside the soffit they are free to travel to the attic. In this case, the bats found a cool location in the interior wall void where they hibernated for the winter. Other hibernating locations for bats in buildings include exterior wall voids, sub floors, and in the attic under the insulation.
During the colder winter months, the Bats will not go in and out of an attic space for insect meals, because there are no insects available outside. The Bats are hibernating all winter long in building while occasionally waking up to clean or relieve themselves. This occurs every two to three weeks. It is during this time that bats may find themselves crawling down the wall void and ending up in the basement possibly an unfinished area like a furnace or laundry room. Their first instinct may be to fly upwards usually ending up in a living space. The bats want to be trapped in a living space about as much as the homeowner wants them there. Usually if left alone they will find their way back unless they are not well. The tolerance of homeowners for bats in the home, as it was in the case of the Trenton bat, was low.
Other times throughout the winter, a change in temperature can result in a bat waking up and moving to another suitable location in the home. This will also result in a bat entering the living space.
The Trenton Bat Control case revealed a sign of a larger problem for the homeowner which was a colony of bats living in their home. The Wildlife Technician estimated between 20-60 bats utilizing suitable locations within this home for the winter stay.
While Bat colonies cannot be removed during winter months due to their inactivity, proper home assessments and a majority of the proofing can be completed. Once the comprehensive assessment was completed in the Trenton Bat Control case, the Technician proceeded to layout a plan to prepare for the bat exodus. Portions of the plan can be done including some of the proofing if the external temperatures are acceptable. As it is both inhumane and illegal to destroy bat colonies, the homeowners will have to wait until warmer temperatures for the bats to leave. However, it is acceptable to utilize exclusion methods to keep them out of the home once they are safely removed. Greenshield Pest Control provides humane bat control not only in Trenton but throughout Eastern Ontario. Our approach is to safely remove the bat population using humane techniques while providing effective exclusion services. Our Trenton Bat Control client will be bat free in 2014.
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