Bats in my house

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Bats in my house

Postby icave » Apr 23, 2007 11:00 am

Well, I knew that we had bats sharing our house last summer. I had heard them many times during the day and we started accumulating guano on the side of our house. But, it was the back side of our house, which no one ever sees (not even us really) and I'm a caver and I love bats. So I let it ride.

Well, last night I'm firing up the grill for the first time this year, kicking back and having a beer. It's getting dark, so I start looking at where I believe the bats were entering and existing. Finally, I see bats. I had never seen them leave before. I started counting while I put the burgers on. After about 15 minutes, I had over 35 bats. Then I start thinking about the guano that goes with 35+ bats.

Needless to say, I called several people about bat exclusions this morning. Sounds like it may get expensive.

Our house is in Pennsylvania, I'd guess the bats may be big browns. So the question is, do I need to wait until next fall to do the exclusion work? I'm concerned that the bats may have pups as it is almost May.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Postby wendy » Apr 23, 2007 11:07 am

hmm, can you have the extraction folks put in an exit only gate where they are getting in and then maybe buy a bat box for the yard and hope they relocate there?
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Apr 23, 2007 11:09 am

I think Tropicalbats, our resident expert, just left yesterday for a field excursion for a few days, so he won't be able to answer. Maybe someone else can, but make sure it's someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

I sure don't (at least not about bat eradication).

Have you checked with Bat Conservation, Intl? http://www.batcon.org
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Postby jlangevin » Apr 23, 2007 11:19 am

I'm not a bat expert so I don't know if these are migratory but if not it could be disastrous to exclude them from the roost at the beginning of hibernation.
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Postby icave » Apr 23, 2007 11:24 am

Just to make it clear...this is all about EXCLUSION.....Killing bats is wrong, not to mention illegal in Pennsylvania. I love bats, I just am concerned about potential health effects related to guano and I don't want the problem to get out of control.

We've had local caves gated for fewer bats that live in my house. :tonguecheek:

I'd love to get Keith's ear on the subject. My big question is do I need to wait until the fall to work on exculsion. I'm not going to exculde the bats now if there are pups (although I really don't want another summer of guano building up).

My wife and I had already been discussing potential bat house locations, but our property is small and I do not want the house on our house, due to guano sticking to the siding.
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Postby icave » Apr 23, 2007 11:25 am

jlangevin wrote:I'm not a bat expert so I don't know if these are migratory but if not it could be disastrous to exclude them from the roost at the beginning of hibernation.


I seriously doubt that our house is anything but a summer roost.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Apr 23, 2007 12:45 pm

icave wrote:Just to make it clear...this is all about EXCLUSION.....Killing bats is wrong, not to mention illegal in Pennsylvania. I love bats, I just am concerned about potential health effects related to guano and I don't want the problem to get out of control.

We've had local caves gated for fewer bats that live in my house. :tonguecheek:

I'd love to get Keith's ear on the subject. My big question is do I need to wait until the fall to work on exculsion. I'm not going to exculde the bats now if there are pups (although I really don't want another summer of guano building up).

My wife and I had already been discussing potential bat house locations, but our property is small and I do not want the house on our house, due to guano sticking to the siding.

Hmm, here's an idea... mebbe it'll work mebbe it won't... but you could make a guano catcher out of say a tarp or something like that and put it beneath where-ever the guano falls then once a week or so or when it gets really too much... throw it all out on your garden or wherever! At least you won't worry too much about health problems.

But you could also just wait until the bats leave... and if you can go up inside the house (if possible) to where they roost and make sure there's no others (babies and what-nots) and place a mesh screen over where they exited/enter... when they come home they'll be flustered and frustrated and then leave. But yeah, I'd build a bat house nearby and hope they'll move in there after being shut out.
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Postby Komebeaux » Apr 23, 2007 1:37 pm

From what I've read, Big Browns give birth anywhere from May to July and enter hibernation as late as November to December.

So, maybe you can screen over thier access point in August?
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Postby kmstill » Apr 23, 2007 9:17 pm

Not an expert, but I did get to see a really great presentation on this issue a few years ago in western NY and could dig up the info through contacts again if necessary. Take home message:
Short story - you're right on on a couple points:
1) need to provide an alternate roost (aka bat house) or the problem will just move, perhaps to the neighbors who'll be less caring about the wildlife
2) exit netting has seemed to work best, the population will exit the house of their own accord. you may need a professional to rig the netting to ID the actual and potential entry/exit points
3) timing is important with regards to pups, BUT I don't remember exactly how the cycle matched up with the months
Try googling and check BCI's site. If you have no luck, pm me and I'll get you in touch w/ my contact in NY, who should be able to steer you to the right people/info.
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Postby Bobatnathrop » Apr 23, 2007 9:35 pm

*cough*bigflyswatter*cough*

But no really, I would just find out what time of year they arent haveing kittens and all and just get up in the attic (or crawl space or what ever you want to call it) at liek 1am when they are probably out feeding and board up all the holes ya can find.

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Postby Komebeaux » Apr 24, 2007 6:57 am

kmstill wrote:Not an expert, but I did get to see a really great presentation on this issue a few years ago in western NY and could dig up the info through contacts again if necessary. Take home message:
Short story - you're right on on a couple points:
1) need to provide an alternate roost (aka bat house) or the problem will just move, perhaps to the neighbors who'll be less caring about the wildlife
2) exit netting has seemed to work best, the population will exit the house of their own accord. you may need a professional to rig the netting to ID the actual and potential entry/exit points
3) timing is important with regards to pups, BUT I don't remember exactly how the cycle matched up with the months
Try googling and check BCI's site. If you have no luck, pm me and I'll get you in touch w/ my contact in NY, who should be able to steer you to the right people/info.


Very good point about the alternate roost!
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Postby Teresa » Apr 24, 2007 7:41 am

Why not go up and take a look and see if they have pups yet? It seems pretty early, but I don't know where you are.

If not, you don't have to wait till August. Just until nightfall, when they leave to feed, and you can screen over obvious openings.
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Postby icave » Apr 24, 2007 11:30 am

Teresa wrote:Why not go up and take a look and see if they have pups yet? It seems pretty early, but I don't know where you are.


My best guess is that they are using the exterior wall, which I can not look into without demo.

Thank you for all the suggestions! After watching them fly out again last night (which I will probably do regularly, just because I like watching bats take wing) I am leaning more towards little browns. I also met with someone today, and based upon the size of the guano, he agreeded with little browns. It's a bit early for them in our area, but they may have just returned to their summer home in the last few days.

After walking the exterior of the house with him, there are a lot of alternate entry points that will need to be sealed. Unfortunately, slate roofs are NOT the best for keeping bats out.

I've already picked out a spot for a bat house, and will probably get to work on building it next weekend (I'll be in VA surveying virgin cave this weekend :banana: ) I think I'm going to have most of the sealing done this spring/summer and wait for the exclusion until late summer. That will give plenty of time for pups and take any rush out of the problem. Plus, the bats may realize there is an alternate home and be encoureged to use it once they are excluded. As long as the animial control person inspects the sealing I perform, he will still provide a five year warranty for the exclusion. Plus, doing the a majority of the sealing myself will keep the cost down.

Bottom line, I really want bats on my property, just not inside my house.
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Postby tropicalbats » Apr 27, 2007 1:09 am

I am back from my bit of off-grid stuff with the kid, which was much fun.

First, most of the advice so far is really quite good. Cavers have stepped up and taken bats seriously and do generally know what's what.

But there won't be any pups yet, no matter the species. And given the odds, yes, you are looking at little browns, but that's not a given. But no matter the species, it would seem that you do still have a bit of a window to do an exclusion with relocation if you are quick about it. For this, you will need to erect a top-notch bat house, probably on a pole, which faces roughly southeast with morning sun. Look at designs or boxes from batmanagement.com for a great box for your area. They are not inexpensive, but they are the best for your location and have a 90%+ success ratio.

The exclusion, however, really depends on your house. If the bats are just using one to five entrances, they can be set up with one-way out-only doors pretty easily. If the house is swiss cheese, then you should be looking at living with the bats until next year, and doing a proper bit of sealing up the openings during the colder months. Either way, you should get up a high-end bat house before you do anything to your house, or you will just be giving the bats to your neighbors who may not be so tolerant and just whack them.

Give me a call or email me directly for more ideas, as you need to move on this fast if you want to get it done this spring.

Best,

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Postby icave » Apr 27, 2007 8:16 am

Thanks Keith. I'm leaning towards getting the bat house up ASAP, taking time to seal properly over the summer and waiting until Fall, Winter do to the exclusion. Hope to see you at Butler sometime this summer and we can discuss a bit more.

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