Removal of Bats By definition there is no such thing as “Bat Pest Control.” Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s pest control companies began receiving calls about bats that were roosting in attics and vents of residential houses and roofs of commercial buildings.
The pest control companies were stumped because they had never dealt with residential bat removal issues before. Most pest control companies are used to spraying poisons for insects and small invertebrates and in typical “pest control fashion” these companies began to spray the bats with pesticides in an effort to kill as many as possible. Bats are mammals, not insects. Poisons may not kill them, and if they do, you’re left with a horrible stench of decaying bats.
These companies were killing thousands of bats needlessly and charging the customer for a service that didn’t produce a permanent solution. They would spray the visible bats and not seal any of the areas of the roof that the bats were using to gain access to the attic.
It is clear that attitudes have changing in an industry historically dedicated to destroying bats. For decades pest control operators had too often told nightmarish myths about the dangers of bats, whipping homeowners into a frenzy and then charging them large fees to kill their bats with dangerous poisons. Now many of these business people have learned that America’s insectivorous bats are, nature’s own pest controllers and need to be protected. The use of poison to kill bats has been banned in most of the United States, and abuses of these laws are in decline.
Few PCO’s have taken the next step of doing humane bat removal and bat exclusion for their customers. Consequently, homeowners often have difficulty finding someone to help them evict bats that are becoming a nuisance.
There are humane methods to remove bats, when necessary. They should be evicted from buildings only by the use of proper exclusion techniques. Wildlife control operators and pest control operators are aware, trapping poses a threat to human health by significantly increasing the potential for humans to have direct contact with sick bats. Instances where traps of this sort have been used in the past have resulted in businesses, schools and apartment buildings being closed to remove hundreds of sick and dead bats that found their way into the interior of the buildings.
Most pest control companies will often refer their customers to a wildlife control operator that is properly trained and equipped to handle ALL nuisance bat situations. If you pest control operator suggests the use of poison to control the bat problem mention to them that, in Georgia, it is illegal to poison or kill a bat. Anyone caught poisoning a bat may subject themselves to stiff fines and possibly jail time.
Bat control is a unique field. It requires specialized training, equipment, techniques, attention to detail and extensive knowledge of bat biology and behavior.
Effective bat control requires a full site inspection, and 100% of the structure must be properly sealed, including gaps as small as 1/4 inch wide. This can obviously become quite labor intensive. In some instances the primary entrance/exit holes are the only access points available, and basic repairs and an exclusion may be sufficient.
Once the bats are removed exclusion work MUST be done to prevent the bats from returning to the roost site. Any bat control professional should perform this task and provide a warranty with their work once completed.