Dealing with Bats in the Winter

Just got a call where a customer in Porter County Indiana was hearing something in their attic at night. Typically, that ends up being raccoons or mice, but they suspected bats because they had bat guano on their porch during the summer.

Bats have very unique time sensitive regulations guiding when they can be removed from attics in Indiana, which are laid out by the DNR. The first one is that between May 15 and August 15, we can’t exclude the bats from your homes due to the fact that a possible maternal colony may have non flight babies that may be trapped in the attic when the adults are excluded, leaving a environmentally beneficial animal with a low reproductive rate at risk. (It can also save you from having dead bats in your attic or walls, potentially saving you from an odor problem.)

They have some ecological pressures due to the White Nose Syndrome. The second time of the year when we can’t do bat exclusions is when the nighttime temps are below 50 degrees. Bats hibernate when it is cold and they are unlikely to use the one way doors used to facilitate the bat exclusion. The other reason is that when a bat that does fly out through a one way door, it is at risk of not making it through the winter. The stress of finding a new place to hibernate and finding food sources would be fatal.

Dealing with Bats in Wintertime

So how did we handle our customer’s situation? Well, first of all, she wasn’t happy to hear that she has to live with bats for another six months or so, but she understood. What we ended up doing, was to give her an estimate for the bat exclusion, take 50% down, and then spent half a day going around and making as much of her home as bat proof as we could. All we left was the two entry points that the bats were currently using. We will then monitor the weather and when conditions are right, we will return in the Spring and hang the one way doors.

 The reason for this is because bat jobs can take many hours. With the small window of time in the Spring to remove bats (roughly around the beginning of April to May 15), we wouldn’t have the time to get to our back log of customers and all the springtime mother raccoons with baby calls that we get that time of the year. Therefore, we have to give ourselves a head start.

The system works well, and we are good at what we do. If you hear scratching in your attic this winter, especially after a drastic temperature change, either up or down, you may have bats and may want to give us a call and get an inspection. We would love to help.

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