As the only flying mammal in the world, bats are a unique pest that can cause issues in your home. They’re nocturnal, so their nesting preferences are darkened areas. This means that your barn, attic, and chimney are ideal roosting locations. Although bats are helpful for the ecosystem, they can be harmful carriers of zoonotic diseases. Beyond that, their urine and feces can cause decay in wood and other building materials, potentially impacting the overall structure of your property. If you notice a problem in or around your home, you should immediately begin to evaluate your bat removal options.
Tennessee Bat Removal Laws
First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with local laws and protections regarding bats. In Tennessee, the state regulates bat removal and practices an “open and closed” season for maternity colonies. The maternity colony exclusion cannot be conducted from May 1st to August 1st, as this is when mothers begin raising their young. If bats were to be removed during this period of time, the offspring would not survive and could be difficult to locate. Instead, preliminary work is allowed during these blacked out months: alternative entrance sealing (as long as the main entry and exit point is left intact) and general repairs.
Identifying Entry Points
Once you’ve determined you’re within the parameters of local legislation, you should begin identifying any entry points for your home. The best time to do so is at dusk or dawn– when bat activity into and out of your home will be at its peak. Take special note of any locations; it’s not uncommon for bats to have multiple points on entry. Remember: bats can squeeze into any openings as small as a half-inch. Common locations include:
– Ridge cap of roof
– Louvers on the side of the home
– Fascia boards on the home’s eaves
– Damaged exterior (warped boards, loose siding, broken window panes, etc.)
You can inspect your home’s exterior for bat droppings to either confirm or eliminate entry points that are uncertain.
One-Way Exit Valves Are Your Friend
When you have bats inside of your home, the solution isn’t as simple as sealing off any points of entry and trapping them inside. Instead, you should consider non-invasive measures to clear out your home. This way, you won’t need to deal with the unpleasant consequences of having trapped bats inside of your house on top of other damages.
One-way exit valves (also called exit tubes) are devices that allow bats a point of exit while blocking them from reentry. If you find that this device is working well for you, then you should keep it in place for a minimum of 3 days to ensure that all unwanted residents have exited.
Popular Bat Removal Strategies
Once your home is completely empty of any bats, it’s time to take preventative action. The key is to make your home as difficult to inhabit as possible, and there are several routes to consider.
1.Seal off any exits.
Since you no longer have any pests within your home, it’s a good idea to completely seal off all entry and exit points to the best of your abilities. The professional choice for the job is usually a metal mesh material that is unaffected by chewing or other means of entry. It’s extremely malleable, so it can fit most crevices of all shapes and sizes. Once you’ve used the mesh, bring in expandable foam sealant to get all of the tiny holes within the mesh. This material typically requires a couple of hours to solidify; however, it does a great job at completely filling any remaining gaps, holes, or cracks.
2.Use a bat repellent.
Bat repellent sprays are easy to use and effective forms of bat removal and prevention. They use natural ingredients or synthetic chemicals that are unpleasant to bats. These sprays often include peppermint and spearmint, which is not harmful to bats, humans, or pets. Repellents are also found in packet form, which you may hang near where the bats may nest for best results. One pack usually covers over a hundred feet. Packets and sprays are both great options to keep bats from nesting and roosting.
3.Use their senses to your advantage.
Bats are sensitive to light and sound, which is something you should capitalize on. Invest in bright lighting to aim at or mount near any points of interest for bats. They will usually relocate to somewhere more accommodating to their senses, if kept up for long enough. On the sound side of things, consider purchasing an ultrasonic emission device to play at all hours of the day near the bats’ potential roosting areas. This device will yield similar results to increased lighting, as you will make the environment unsuitable as a happy roosting area.
Hire a Professional for Bat Removal
The process of bat removal can be tedious, daunting, and overwhelming. Especially for larger infestations, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts. Complete Animal Removal has years of experience dealing with bat colonies. We know the best methods to clear your home of the pests and prevention strategies to keep them out. If you think you might need a helping hand dealing with pests in your home, reach out to us at 615-510-4400 (Franklin, TN), 423-680-6888 (Chattanooga, TN), or 270-285-0000 (Bowling Green, KY).