What To Do About Bats On Your Fairfax Property
August 13, 2021 - Bats
Bats in Virginia are beneficial in their natural habitat. A bat can eat 50% to 75% of its weight in insects each night. Since there may be 1,000 bats in a given landscape, bats can eat thousands of insect pests each night.
Description Of Virginia Bats
Seventeen species of bats have been found in Virginia. There are four bats you are most likely to see enter buildings.
Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
Big brown bats are brown and are 4-5 inches in length. They weigh .5-.75 ounces and are among the biggest bats in Virginia. They have short ears and large heads with naked muzzles. Big brown bats may hibernate in old buildings and churches and form big maternity colonies in buildings when they have their pups.
Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
These bats are tree bats but will enter structures if they are available. Evening bats are 3-3.8 inches long and weigh .25-.5 ounces. They are brown and look like miniature big brown bats. Their fur is short and dull, with dark brown on top and lighter brown on the underside. They have short ears and an acrid odor.
Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
These bats were once very common, but white-nose syndrome has hit them hard. At 3.2-3.8 inches long and .2-.45 ounces, they are small. Little brown bats have large, hairy feet. They are dark brown on the back and grey to white on the underside.
Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)
These bats are also known as Mexican free-tailed bats. Adults measure 3.5-4 inches long and have a tail that is free from the back membrane for over half its length. These bats weigh between .4-.5 ounces. Their fur is short and velvety and brownish-gray or dark brown. The ears are short, wide, thick, and leathery. The wings are narrow and long.
Places Bats Roost
Bats generally hibernate in the winter. Some use caves but the big brown bat stays in buildings. During the spring, summer, and early fall, bats come out and roost in trees or buildings. They generally find holes in buildings and homes to enter and roost.
Once they are in there, you should not disturb them from May to August while their pups are with them. Disturbing them may cause the females to abandon their pups causing the pups to starve and die. After or before the pups are there, you can put a one-way door so they can leave and not get back in.
Problems Bats Cause
As mammals, bats are vulnerable to rabies. When they have it, they often lose the ability to fly. Bats bite, so never try to pick up a bat on the ground or corner a bat. If you get bitten, you can get rabies. If you do get bitten, seek medical attention immediately. If a bat gets inside the house, capture it and take it to the Health Department for rabies testing. Use thick leather gloves to handle bats if you must do so.
In addition to rabies, bats are messy. They urinate and defecate every night before leaving the roost. This guano accumulates and has to be removed. Guano can grow histoplasmosis fungi spores. They can make you sick if you breathe them in. In most cases, it makes you feel like you have the flu but can make some people sicker.
Getting Rid Of Bats
Because of the risk of rabies or histoplasmosis, it is wise to hire a professional to get rid of bats. It is illegal to poison bats or capture and move them. SPRK Pest Solutions can help you with any bats in your buildings, including your home.
We will do a free inspection to determine the extent of the infestation then come up with a customized plan to treat the problem. After eliminating the infestation, we can come back on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis and treat your house and buildings to keep any other pests at bay. Call SPRK Pest Solutions today and get rid of your bats safely and humanely. We provide residential pest control as well as commercial pest solutions.