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Bat Removal and Bat-Proofing

Columbia and Aiken, South Carolina Rid-A-Critter Office

Bat guano on the roof of a house in Aiken, South Carolina

Bat guano on the roof of a house in Aiken, South Carolina

In South Carolina, bat removal is always one of our most in-demand services.

Bats are overwhelmingly beneficial animals. They're the only true flying mammals and they have a taste for mosquitoes, making them nature's most effective mosquito exterminators. A large colony of bats can consume tens or hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes during a single night of flying. So the next time you think about bats, think about all those bites you're not getting. Clearly we owe bats a debt of gratitude for that.

Although many people are afraid of bats, their fears are largely unfounded. Bats rarely come into contact with humans unless we stumble upon them in the areas where they're living. In nature, that would be mainly in caves, although small colonies can live in hollow trees and similar areas. They don't attack people or "fly into their hair." On the contrary, they try their best to avoid us altogether.

Their usefulness and their value to public health are among the reasons why bats are more respected than many other animals and enjoy special legal protections. That's also why at Rid-A-Critter, we practice only humane, non-lethal bat removal. That's the law, but it's also what we would do anyway. We're not "bat exterminators." We remove the bats and seal them out of your home or business, but we don't kill them.

Bats and Disease

The main reason why bats must be removed when they get into a home or other human-occupied building are all health-related. The CDC has prepared a useful guide to the health considerations of bats, which can be found here.

Our version is a lot shorter. The health risks of bats fall into three broad categories.


One of the reasons why many people are afraid of bats is because they do in fact have higher rates of rabies than do most other animals. Exactly how high is a matter of some disagreement: Estimates vary from about three percent to ten percent or higher. But unless you have a habit of deliberately entering places where bats live, this really isn't something you need to worry about because contact between bats and humans is very rare.

If you have bats living in your attic, however, then you need to stay out of there until the bats are removed. Although they don't "attack" humans, a human entering an attic where bats are living may rile them up and cause them to start flying energetically. That increases the chances of your being contacted by a bat; and although the chance of rabies being transmitted during such an incident is very slight, it's not impossible.

So if you have bats in your attic, please stay out of there until the bats are removed. And if you have any reason to believe that you've been in direct contact with a bat, seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have been bitten or scratched.

Risks Associated with Guano

Like all animal droppings, bat droppings (called guano) can serve as a breeding medium for insects as well as bacterial and fungal diseases; and bats produce a lot of guano. We've removed literally tons of it from some long-standing bat jobs.

The biggest health risk associated with bat guano is histoplasmosis, a fungal disease of the respiratory system that is spread by spores. Although treatable, histoplasmosis ranges in severity from producing no symptoms at all to causing life-threatening respiratory infections. It's another good reason to stay out of attics and other places where bats are living.


Close-up of a bat bug

Bat bugs look almost identical to bed bugs and will feed on human blood if they're hungry enough.

Like all wild critters, bats carry their share of parasites like mites, fleas, ticks, and so forth. Some of these parasites are capable of spreading bacterial and arboviral diseases, although it's unclear whether they do in South Carolina. Bats and their parasites have definitely been implicated in the spread of diseases overseas.

One parasite unique to bats is called, appropriately enough, a bat bug. They look virtually identical to bed bugs; and although they prefer bats' blood, they'll feed on humans if they have to. When the bats are removed from an attic it's important to inspect for these parasites, and treat for them with insecticides if any are found, to prevent them from migrating into the living areas of the house after their hosts have been removed.

Like bed bugs, bat bugs can be very difficult to control once they get into a home. We generally remove them all non-chemically when we vacuum up the guano and contaminated insulation. But when necessary, we also apply insecticides to prevent them from becoming established in the people-occupied parts of the building.

Non-Chemical Bat Removal and Bat-Proofing

Bat control is actually very simple in theory: We wait for the bats to leave, and we make it so they can't get back inside. We do this using a variety of one-way devices that prevent them from getting back into a building once they've left for their nightly meals. When they come back, they try all the ways they know of to get back inside, and then they give up and leave unharmed.

The practice of bat control is a lot more difficult than the theory, however. Bats are actually very tiny animals who can fit through very tiny gaps, so bat exclusion is among the most detailed work that we do. We can't miss even the smallest openings. If we do, bats will very likely find it and get back in through it.

Bat-proofing a building can take a single afternoon or several days for most houses, depending on the size, general condition, and whether or not the builder made even a token attempt to seal the house against animals. Large commercial buildings can take several weeks to completely bat-proof, again depending on size and general condition.

Once the bats are gone, we have to address the aftermath. Bats don't generally do significant damage like rodents or raccoons do, but they sure enough make one heck of a mess. We remove their guano and tidy up the place as part of our bat-removal work. We also remove and replace the contaminated insulation, if necessary. Usually it is, for both odor-control and health reasons.


Bat Control Gallery

Here are a few pictures of some of the many bat control and bat-proofing jobs we've done in South Carolina. Please contact us for more information about our humane, non-chemical bat control programs.


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Here's a Picture of Tim on a Dead Animal Removal Call
by Webmaster
Apr 19, 2017 12:31:42 pm.

Here's a Picture of a Bat Sealed Out of a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Apr 17, 2017 11:13:15 am.

Chris Sent a Picture of the Bat Entry Point at a Columbia, South Carolina Bat-Removal Job
by Webmaster
Apr 11, 2017 12:07:49 pm.

Here's a Picture of Tim Talking to Parents at a Career Day Event
by Webmaster
Mar 29, 2017 01:34:01 pm.

Jason Sent a Picture of Dean Sealing Bats Out of a Commercial Building in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Mar 13, 2017 09:02:48 pm.

Here's a Lovely Picture of Bat Guano on a Gable Vent at a House in Lexington, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Mar 13, 2017 08:36:34 pm.

Brandon Sent a Picture of Bat Guano in the Attic of a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Mar 13, 2017 08:16:16 pm.

Justin Found a Bat Entry Hole at a Columbia, South Carolina Bat Removal Job
by Webmaster
Feb 06, 2017 03:48:27 pm.

Here's a Picture of Dean doing Bat Removal from the Press Box of a Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Feb 01, 2017 02:36:51 pm.

Amber Sent a Picture of a Friendly Squirrel that Stopped By for a Visit
by Webmaster
Jan 23, 2017 02:52:51 pm.

New Google+ Post: Carl's Crew Page Picture
by Webmaster
Jan 19, 2017 12:43:57 pm.

Tyler Located the Bat Entry Hole at a Columbia, South Carolina Bat Removal Job
by Webmaster
Jan 11, 2017 04:14:13 pm.

Here's a Picture of Our Display at the Georgia Pest Control Association Convention
by Webmaster
Jan 10, 2017 02:47:45 pm.

Tim Found a Bat Entry Hole in a House in Aiken. South Carolina
by Webmaster
Jan 06, 2017 04:02:57 pm.

Carl Found the Bat Entry Point at a Brick House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Jan 06, 2017 03:28:09 pm.

Pesky squirrels in Valdosta, Fitzgerald, Moultrie, Adel, Nashville Ga. and all between. We got you covered. Call us for your free exclusion quote.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2016 01:39:14 pm.

New YouTube Video: So Where's the Pot of Gold?
by Webmaster
Dec 29, 2016 03:55:53 pm.

New Google+ Post: Happy Holidays!
by Webmaster
Dec 23, 2016 03:33:49 pm.

Tim Found Bats in an Attic in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Dec 23, 2016 01:52:03 pm.

Scott Sent this Picture of a Colony of Bats in the Attic of a House in Sumter, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Dec 22, 2016 02:24:04 pm.

New Google+ Picture and Post: Bat Guano Found at a Bat Removal Job in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Dec 08, 2016 02:07:54 pm.

Chris C. Found A Green Rat Turd at a Dead Animal Removal and Odor Control Job
by Webmaster
Dec 08, 2016 01:43:02 pm.

Here's a Picture of a Bat Entry Point at a Columbia, South Carolina Bat-Removal Job
by Webmaster
Dec 07, 2016 03:10:22 pm.

New YouTube Video: Red Bellied Woodpecker
by Webmaster
Dec 01, 2016 03:25:48 pm.

The Columbia, South Carolina office of Rid-A-Critter provides humane bat removal and bat-proofing in the Greater Columbia, South Carolina area, including Aiken, Barnwell, Camden, Columbia, Evans, Greenwood, Lexington, Newberry, North Augusta, Orangeburg, and Sumter.

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