What To Do When You Find Bats in Your Denver, CO House
You may have noticed the almost silent flutter of wings as dusk overtakes your property. A bat swoops down upon an unseen target – an insect undetected by your observing eyes. You may be alarmed by this unsightly visitor, but bats are very beneficial to the environment. In fact, they are excellent at controlling insect populations.
Bats in the Denver Metro
In the Denver Metro area, Big Brown and Little Brown Bats are the most commonly encountered bat. Both species are brown in color and favor roosting in buildings. Big Brown Bats are large with a wing span over a foot while Little Brown Bats have small ears and a wing span of about 10 inches. Both species typically leave hibernacula and move into the Denver Metro area during the month of May.
Since Big Brown and Little Brown Bats are colonial bats, they typically form large groups and may even roost in the same location. Female bats may form maternity colonies in wall cavities or attic spaces and typically give birth to a single pup in early summer. Male bats may form bachelor colonies or roost alone until Fall.
In the Fall, the male and female bats will mate and then migrate into the high country for the cold months of the year. They often spend the winter in caves and slow their body processes to conserve energy. This bat migration usually takes place in October-November.
In rare cases, bats may forgo migrating if they have a suitable “cave” in the Denver Metro Area. This can be an attic space that remains above freezing during the cold months.
How to Know if Bats are Present in Your House
Bats can enter a home through very small openings (1/4 inch and larger) along the exterior perimeter and they can roost on any areas with a ledge or texture to grasp on to. If the opening along the exterior leads into your wall cavity or attic space, the bats may form a colony there. You may hear fluttering or screeching and may observe the bats exiting the space at dusk.
Bats can also live in chimneys – especially those with a gas insert where there is space between the stove pipe and the brick/wooden exterior. Bats may enter through small openings in the chase cover or cracks in the crown. If bats are in this area, you will most likely see them exiting the space at dusk or hear them fluttering.
If you are seeing droppings along the exterior of your home or in a porch area, it may mean that bats are roosting on the exterior of your home. Bats may grasp on to a soffit/fascia board to rest along their nightly feeding routes. In some cases, turning on a porch/patio light and directing it to shine on the roosting point will deter bats from using your property as a rest stop.
What You Can Do to Remove Bats from Your House
If you suspect bat presence in your home, removal is recommended as bats can carry unwanted disease. Sharing living space with a wild animal is never recommended. Bats can be a vector for rabies and while only a small percentage of bats test positive for rabies – it is not a risk worth taking.
Bat guano can also provide optimal growing conditions for a fungus that can cause histoplasmosis. The disease affects the lungs and can be fatal (especially for infants and those with weakened immune systems). This can be especially concerning for homeowners that have HVAC in the same attic space where bats are living.
So what can you do to protect your home?
- If you have had bat visitors in the past, work to seal up your home during the “off” season.
- If bats are roosting on your property, repair the roosting points and consider providing a bat house/roosting house.
- If you have current bat activity inside of your house, professional assistance may be necessary.
- A bat professional will be able to identify bat entry points.
- A bat professional can install bat removal devices on your house that allow the bats to exit the wall cavity/attic space without harm.
- Keep in mind that bats should not be removed until the bat pups are able to fly.
- A bat professional can permanently seal entry points to protect against future intrusions.
- A bat professional can offer clean up of bat guano to minimize odor and disease concerns.
- A bat professional can offer treatment for bat bugs after the bats have been removed.
Whitmore Pest & Wildlife Control professionals are skilled at identifying bat concerns and offering personalized solutions to your situation. Call our office today for more information about our services or to schedule a consultation.