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Since bats do not tunnel under a house and love high places we need to start on the exterior. Often, when I first receive a call I try to get the address of the building or structure that the bats are supposedly living in.
Once I get the address from the customer I go to Google Earth or google maps. I want to see the view from over head and street view. I look at whether or not it’s a two story ( or more) or a single story structure and then the type of materials the building is made of.
In our service area we have several types of construction that are more prone to bats than others and of course certain places on a structure that the bats will most likely invade first.
This will be a fairly long article so I hope your ready for a deep dive. There are a lot of websites out there that cover one-way doors and methods of getting rid of the bats. This article will cover how to find them if you suspect you have bats. Perhaps you found one inside your house, or had one flying around inside last night and now you are wondering if this was just a fluke or if this was truly a real bat problem. Luckily if you know what to look for, you can locate the most likely place and identify that you do need to call in a professional.
Again, start with the exterior. Yes you found one inside but that little guy or gal got in from the exterior and now we need to find out and discover how.
You will be looking for 3 things that will almost always tell the story of whether or not you actually have a bat problem.
Lets go over these 3 bat colony identification issues in depth and make you an expert almost instantly. of course you’re still going to need a real pro to get rid of them and help you solve it for good so don’t get too excited! Even though you might find the location, you don’t want to go and set up a one-way door there and simply move them from where they are now to another location on the same house! this is where a pro comes in handy.
First up “Brown Dirty Staining” is caused by bat secretions called sebum. This is akin to the natural oils we all have on our bodies. I like to tell people that bats don’t take showers and when they pee or fly around they get dirty, this rubs off and creates this brown dirty staining, in fact people in the business often refer to this as “rub marks”
Sometimes when you are looking at the roof, specifically a roof return like this it can be very difficult to actually see the sebum or staining. The next photo shows an extreme closeup revealing the fact that bats are indeed using this area as a point of entry.
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Let’s assume you have walked around your house and looking at every roof return inside corner and outside corner of the roof you just cannot determine for sure but you still want to be sure. You can do a bat watch!
A bat watch is when you go out and actually watch the bats leave and or return. There are two primary times when doing a bat watch can really help, even for professionals!
The first time is in the evening time at dusk. The bats will exit at dusk. This is not always the best way though as the bats will effectively trickle out and sometimes you can have a few just seem to appear out of nowhere. The one and only take away here is you can confirm bats are living in your home or business.
The second time and sometimes the most beneficial time is in the morning before dawn. In my area this usually occurs between 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM but most often I will see the bats for sure by about 6AM.
In the morning the bats return en mass allowing you to see exactly where they are going in as you’ll have plenty of opportunity to witness it. Even an experienced person can learn valuable information from doing a morning bat watch as opposed to the evening time. This can save time and money by allowing me (or you) to seal non-entry points instead of setting up a one-way door. Don’t be deceived though, and this is why it is so very important to hire a pro. Depending on where you live and the time of year the bats may not even come out. Bats in certain areas hibernate while in others they do not.
The point here is to discuss the inspection process, performing a bat watch can help you understand what is going on.
The last thing to discuss is the smell. Bat guano itself has no odor – it is the urine that you may smell. If the smell is concentrated to the back of the building, you may want to take a look on the exterior of that room as that is probably where the bats are!