Pest Control Tips: How to Get Rid of a Big Brown Bat
The only way to protect your home or cottage from a big brown bat is to completely seal the structure. Bats can fit into holes 1/3” in diameter; basically the size of a baby finger.
Inspections are required for all bat work as every structure is different and therefore the extent of sealing is different for each structure; some of this inspection you can start on your own. Dawn and dusk are two opportune times of the day to sit outside your home or cottage and watch for bats emerging or returning. All sides of the structure should be checked. One way exit tubes are placed at the main entry points and all secondary entry points are sealed. These tubes are left on for approx. 2-4 weeks to allow all bats to exit. At this time, a final seal and inspection is done.
The seal is warrantied for one year, at which point you may choose to have the work re-inspected and guaranteed at a cost of 20% of the original job cost.
All bat work must be done in spring or fall. Their young are born and learning to fly between mid-June and mid-August; therefore sealing cannot be done during this time of year.
How to Identify a Bat Infestation
There are two types of bats that live in the Peterborough, the Kawarthas and the Haliburton Highlands: Big Brown Bats and Little Brown Bats.
How do I know it’s a Big Brown Bat?
- If you notice a bat during the winter months, it’s a Big Brown Bat
- Big Brown Bats are known to hibernate in churches, barns and older farm houses
- This bat ranges from 10 to 13 cm in body length, with a 28 to 33 cm wingspan, and weighs between 14 to 16 g
- Their fur is moderately long and shiny brown. The wing membranes, ears, feet, and face are dark brown or blackish in colour
Signs of an Infestation
- Bats can leave grease marks around the area they inhabit
- Bats can cause noises inside the home from their routine activities
- Their droppings are another indicator of infestation. The droppings are segmented and full of insect parts, this can help to differentiate them from mouse droppings
- Their urine can also emit a very strong and offensive odour
How to Prevent a Bat Infestation
- Keep all your doors and windows shut, especially when it’s dark out
- Make sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows, because bats can enter through holes as small as 9.5-mm in diameter
- Change your outdoor light bulbs to yellow lights that attract fewer bugs, which are a primary source of food for bats
Possible Health Concerns
- Bats can carry rabies without showing any signs
- Accumulation of their droppings can create an ideal environment for the growth of Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus that can cause lung disease in humans. Severe cases can be fatal.
- Bats are a protected species in Ontario; therefore, it is illegal to knowingly kill a bat colony
- Big Brown Bats can invade properties in both the summer and winter
- Bats are nocturnal and the only mammal capable of true flight
- Most bats are insectivores, feeding on insects at night
- Bats emerge in early spring and leave their winter sites for summer homes. Typically, the first to create nesting areas are the females in preparation to give birth. Because of their impending maternity, these new colonies are known as maternity or nursery colonies