FAQ

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Anyone who has unwanted bats living or roosting in their home building is likely very familiar with the unpleasant experience of encoutering the unwanted guests and/or the associated noise and odour problems that may accompany a bat infestation.

What many people may not be aware of is that there are also significant potential health risks associated with human exposure to bats that may result from sharing dwelling or work places with them. The two primary diseases of concern are Bat Rabies and Histoplasmosis, which is caused by a fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum. Although not known to present a health risk, bat infestation may also lead to Bat Bug infestion in buildings. The following provide brief description of each of these issues:

Bat Rabies

Most of us associate rabies with the mad dog frothing at the mouth, eager to bite anything near it. In Canada, however, rabies usually appear in wild animals, especially bats, foxes and skunks are most commonly identified rabid animals. It’s important to know how to protect yourself and your pet from this deadly disease. As with all wildlife, the most effective method of avoiding exposure is through avoidance which, in the case of bats, is accomplished through removal of the bats by trained professionals along with proper bat proofing.

Brown Bats

Big brown bats are relatively ferocious when captured. They usually squeal when handled and produce a rapid ratchet-like sound; they continually try to bite and usually draw blood when they succeed in doing so.
Histoplasmosis

A certain percentage of bat populations are infected with a virus called capsulatum histoplasme and can consequently excrete the organism in their droppings. As a result of this, accumulations of bat guano, especially in interior spaces, may pose significant health risks to individuals exposed to airborne particles. Anyone exposed to material contaminated with H. capsulatum (such bat droppings or material contaminated by bat droppings) which becomes airborne can develop histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by inhaling the spores of the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus. The symptoms of histoplasmosis vary in severity from flu-like symptoms, to chronic lung disease, to blindness and even death in rare cases (“Histoplasmosis, Protecting Workers at Risk”, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-146, September 1997). Infants, young children, and older persons, in particular those with chronic lung disease, are at increased risk for developing symptomatic Histoplasmosis.

As a result of such concerns, the American “National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health” (NIOSH) recommends that: “when a colony of bats or a flock of birds is discovered roosting in a building, immediate action should be taken to exclude the intruders by sealing all entry points” in order to prevent the on-going accumulations of guano. In addition it is recommended that the existing accumulations should be removed, especially in areas where there may be exposure to humans. The removal of all material that might be contaminated by H. capsulatum from a building and immediate waste disposal will eliminate any further risk that someone might be exposed to aerosolised spores.

Based on these considerations, it is recommended that accumulations of bat guano in buildings be removed following full health and safety procedures described in our Services page.

Bat Bug

Bat bugs may be found in houses and buildings that are infested with bats. The bat bug is a very close relative to the nearly-extinct bed bug. The two species look so much alike that microscopic examination is needed to confidently tell them apart.

Bat bugs feed on blood from bats, but when they wander away from the bat roost area, they will feed on other warm-blooded animals, including people. This feeding is an annoyance but is not dangerous. As far as we know, bat bugs do not transmit any diseases.

Controlling bat bugs requires the elimination of any bats that are present in the home or building. This is accomplished by exclusion techniques also known as “building them out” (i.e., sealing entrance cracks and holes). There are no pesticides to control bats in attics. In addition to eliminating the bats you may need to control the bugs themselves. This can be done by applying residual insecticides such as those commonly sold for cockroaches to cracks, crevices, or other bat bug hiding places. Spraying without eliminating the bats will probably provide short-term, temporary benefit but is not likely to completely control the problem.

Why are bats found in Ontario homes during the winter?

Finding a bat in your home during the winter (flying or sleeping) means (%100) you have a colony living in your home.

In Ontario, Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fustus) comprise 95% of residential bat colonies. Most colonies are small (fewer than 30 bats). Big Brown Bats are year-round residents – they are the only species of bat that doesn’t hibernate in caves.

To survive the winter, bats must hibernate in a cool place with a stable temperature.  The exterior walls and basements of residential structures provide optimal conditions for hibernating bats.

Bats will periodically wake up from hibernation to clean themselves and go to the bathroom. Big changes in the outside temperatures can also wake hibernating bats.

Bats may move several times each winter to find to a spot with an optimal temperature.

During such periods, bats may enter your living space; however, if left alone they usually return to their hibernation spots.

Many clients would like the problem fixed right away; however, bat control work cannot be performed during the winter because:

  • Bats are inactive and not going out at night.
  • Caulking will fail if applied at cold temperatures.
  • Bat-proofing  a home covered in snow and ice is difficult and dangerous.

Any business claiming they can fix your bat problem in winter is either lying or misinformed. Either way, don’t let them touch your home.

This may be upsetting; however, there are things you can do to keep the bats out of your living space and bedroom: To get a good night’s sleep undisturbed by bats – read this!

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Most customers hire me when they find a bat inside their home. Many are parents who worry about bats getting into their children’s bedrooms.

Until the building is bat-proofed, nothing can be done to stop bats from entering your general living space; however, you can stop bats from entering your bedrooms at night by following a few simple steps.

Bats live primarily in the walls of homes. They cannot get into a finished room unless there is a hole in the wall or gaps around baseboards.

The only other way bats enter finished rooms is by going under doors or coming out the heat register or cold air return.

Make your bedrooms bat-proof by blocking their entry spots.

1. Put a towel under the door. Interior doors have space underneath to allow airflow. Bats can easily crawl under most doors. By stuffing a towel under your door, bats cannot enter (they cannot chew their way in).  You can seal the door with duct tape, but this is overkill.

2. Bats can also enter rooms via heat registers and cold air return (unless the cover openings are smaller than 1/2 square-inch and is tightly sealed to the floor). Cover the vents with mesh 1/2 inch or smaller. Bug-screen will work as well. Overlap on all sides and hold in place with duct tape or heavy books. Don’t block the vents because you won’t get any benefit from your furnace or air conditioner.

3. Any holes in your walls must be sealed. Any openings or gaps around baseboards or radiators need to be sealed with rags, tape or caulking.

Ontario Bats live in colonies. If you find a bat inside your home, you have a bat problem.

It is extremely unlikely that a bat randomly entered through an open door or window.

In Ontario, most residential bats (more than 95%) are big brown bats (Eptesicus fustus).

Bats can enter though gaps as small as an inch wide by quarter-inch high.

The average home in Ontario has thousands of potential entry spots (especially up high).

Big Brown bats live in millions of Ontario homes.

Most colonies are small (30 or fewer bats); bats are nocturnal, quiet and shy, and can go undetected for years.

Bats are year-round residents that thrive in our climate-controlled homes.

Bat live primarily in interior walls (which offer protection and stable temperatures); these walls have pipes, wires and ducts, giving bats a path to move about the home.

Bats can show up inside anytime, but mostly appear during hot weather (July-September).

Bats born in the walls of your home each spring will begin exploring and wandering into living spaces by summer.

Hot weather drives all bats towards cooler spots (i.e. the basement).

Holes around pipes, wires, and duct-work are where most bats enter the living space (especially in unfinished basements or furnace rooms).

Once inside, bats can move from room to room by crawling under doors or through duct-work (which is why people find them in their bedrooms).

Bats leave scent trails for other bats to follow. Once they discover a way in, they will keep coming back.

Bat populations are at their height in the hottest months of summer. More bats plus heat equals more bats showing up inside homes.

 

 

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The answer is yes—you definitely have a bat problem!

In Ontario, most residential bats (more than 95%) are Big Brown bats (Eptesicus fustus).

These bats can enter though gaps as small as an inch wide by quarter-inch high.

The average home in Ontario has thousands of potential entry spots (especially up high).

Big Brown bats live in millions of Ontario homes.

Most colonies are small (30 or fewer bats); bats are nocturnal, quiet and shy, and can go undetected for years.

Bats are year-round residents that thrive in our climate-controlled homes.

In winter, they hibernate in cool spots in basements and exterior walls.

Bats live in colonies. If you find a bat inside your home, you have a bat problem.

Bats can show up inside anytime, but mostly appear during hot weather (July-September).

Bats do not live in attics, which are too hot in the summer, and too cold in winter; however, they often pass through attic spaces, leaving their droppings behind.

Bat live primarily in interior walls (which offer protection and stable temperatures); these walls have pipes, wires and ducts, giving bats a path to move about the home.

Hot weather drives bats towards cooler spots (i.e. the basement).

Holes around pipes, wires, and duct-work are where most bats enter the living space (especially in unfinished basements or furnace rooms).

Once inside, bats can move from room to room by crawling under doors or through duct-work (which is why people find them in their bedrooms).

Bats leave scent trails for other bats to follow. Once they discover a way in, they will keep coming back.

 

Yes, you have a bat problem.

Droppings will be found outside, on the ground and on the walls of the homes they live in.

If you want to be certain, clean up the droppings and wait to see if you get more.

If you look for bats exiting at dusk, don’t be surprised if you don’t see any because bats don’t go out every night, or all at the same time, or even in the same place. Their entry/exit spots may not be visible from the ground.

Most colonies are small (30 or fewer bats); bats are nocturnal, quiet and shy, and can go undetected for years.

Unless bats are getting inside your home, it may not be obvious you have a bat problem.

Yes, you have a bat problem.

Bats do not live in attics, which are too hot in the summer, and too cold in winter; however, they pass through attic spaces, leaving their droppings (called guano) behind.

Bat live primarily in interior walls (which offer protection and cooler temperatures).

Bats spend the night hunting moths and rest in attics.

They usually rest in the peaks of attics.

Droppings are found below scattered in piles on the insulation.

It’s common to see guano but no bats in attic.

Guano is often misidentified as mouse poop (mouse poop is tiny) Bat guano is usually seen scattered and in piles on top of insulation. Mouse poop is mostly found under insulation.

 

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Why gamble with your money? Hire a specialist.

We only do bat control. 25 years, thousands of jobs, we have seen it all.

We fix the bat jobs others were unable to complete.

You hire me, you get me and my 25 of years experience.

We have the specialized knowledge and tools needed for bat control.

We provide a lifetime warranty on all workmanship.

If we miss something and must come back, there will be no charge, ever.

Apparently we often give less expensive quotes than our (so called) competition.

Want to see us working? Watch our tv show: HGTV hired us to do a bat control show. Click here!

We find and fix thousands of leaks for customers every year while doing our bat-proofing.

We have a background in construction and can make all needed repairs and modifications.

We bat-proof chimneys, gas fireplaces and furnaces safely and legally. There are very specific codes to be followed when modifying gas, oil and wood chimneys (I am a licensed gas fitter and certified chimney tech).

I believe that most wildlife control companies and exterminators mean well and try to do effective bat control work. I also admit that am biased against hiring them.

However, my bias comes from working with customers who hired some of these companies and still have a bat problem (and are out a lot of money). I also see a lot of shoddy work up close and then must undo it and redo it properly.

It’s your decision, but paying twice to have a bat problem fixed, is my definition of expensive.

We are not the only bat specialist company in Ontario. If you want another quote, I recommend Bats Canada, If you don’t hire me, hire them (but hire us).