Phoenix Pest Control can be a Batty Business
As we wrote about in our blogs in December 2015, keeping your home and business spaces free of pests like rodents, cockroaches and spiders during the cold winter months is very important—but so is preventing a certain pest of the flying variety: Bats. Like spiders, bats are beneficial to Arizona’s environment, because they feed on insects that threaten vital agricultural crops. However, bats do have an unsavory side to them, and they tend to make people unsettled by their sheer presence.
Phoenix pest control is synonymous with the better-known pests like spiders and scorpions, but bats maintain a very prominent presence in the Phoenix pest control landscape. Did you know there are 28 species of bats in Arizona? While some people appreciate bats and the ways they benefit us, others fear bats because a small percentage of them can expose humans and pets to rabies.
Because of the rabies threat, bats should always be kept out of places where people and animals live indoors. Even though bites are rare, bats can transmit rabies, and care should be taken not to handle any bats you may encounter. It’s also a good idea to have your dog or cat vaccinated against rabies, should they encounter a bat.
Bat guano (feces) and urine can present disease and odor problems, and is also attractive to other critters and pests.
A Bit About Bats
The presence of bats can easily go undetected due to their nocturnal habits. Dusk is the best time to observe bats exiting a structure, because they feed and are most active then. During the daytime, you can inspect for signs of holes or openings.
Bats also can gain access to a structure through holes that other animals, including rodents, have created. Fortunately, bats are not chewers, and they will not gnaw on electrical wiring like rodents do. Some other bat facts:
• They are fist-sized or smaller, with short fur and thin wings, and many have large ears
• They are usually brown, gray, yellow, red, some with frost-tipped fur, spots or dark eye mask
• They have similar eyesight to humans
• Many eat insects in flight and can eat more than 1,000 insects in an hour, including mosquitoes
• Some species drink nectar and can drain a hummingbird feeder overnight
• They use echolocation, emitting sound to locate solid objects
• They hang upside-down to rest in dark, secluded “roosts” during daytime; leave roost to forage for food at night and may temporarily roost to digest food and groom
• Some hibernate during winter (October through April), and some stay active year-round
• Most have one or two live young each year, usually between May and July
• Females nurse offspring and form maternity roosts that can contain hundreds or thousands of bats
Looking for Signs of Bats
We want you to know that bats are generally harmless to humans, and are extremely beneficial for controlling insects and mosquitoes, as well as pollinating some plants. Because of the amount of fear about bats many people have, their numbers have severely dwindled in recent years. Because of our desire to help you remain bat free, but also to help ensure the dwindling bat population recovers, we want to help educate you as to how to secure your home from bats.
The best control method for bats is to deny them access to your home in the first place. The winter months are the best time of year to perform the necessary exclusion work on your home, since younger bats have grown enough to fly by then and will be searching for new roosting sites. It’s much easier to prevent a bat problem than it is to remove one after they have set up housekeeping in your attic. Secure the following spaces in and around your home:
• Chimneys that lack protective grates or grills
• Open windows or doors
• Under eaves
• Into loose siding boards
• Openings along the roofline
• Through utility vents
• Tears in screen windows and doors
You can also identify potential bat access points by looking for stain marks left behind by the bat’s body oils, urine and droppings. Bat droppings, or guano, crush easily and include shiny bits of undigested insects. Mouse droppings lack those shiny bits. Also, bat droppings never are white or chalky like bird droppings.
Your Phoenix Pest Control Team Goes to Bat For You
Should you find any traces of bats, fix the port of entry immediately. If you are not comfortable doing so yourself, please contact the Phoenix pest control professionals at Insectek to offer guidance and insight. Our Phoenix pest control team can help provide insight, tips and advice for bat proofing your home, or for dealing with a bat infestation in the most effective and humane way possible.
Please contact us to learn more about how our Phoenix pest control team can go to work for you, to help keep your home free of bats and every other pesky critter under the sun.