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Bat Removal and Bat-Proofing

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

Bat colony in a gable vent in Aiken, South Carolina

Bat colony in a gable vent 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.

Rabies

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.

Parasites

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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Check Out these Before-and-After Pictures of a Bat-Removal and Cleanup Job
by Webmaster
Sep 13, 2017 11:25:36 am.

Here's a Bat Entry Hole and Rub Marks on a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Sep 12, 2017 11:05:58 am.

Here's How Bats got Into a Columbia, South Carolina Home
by Webmaster
Sep 08, 2017 10:59:44 am.

Here's a Video of Carl and Chad Watching the Eclipse
by Webmaster
Aug 31, 2017 12:00:44 pm.

Carl Sent this Video Explaining Our Animal-Proofing Work Versus Our Competitor's
by Webmaster
Aug 08, 2017 08:49:01 am.

Justin Uploaded a Video Explaining Some Signs That You Have A Bat Problem
by Webmaster
Aug 03, 2017 10:36:34 am.

Chris Sent a Picture of a Male Antheraea polyphemus Silk Moth
by Webmaster
Jul 25, 2017 09:17:40 am.

Tim Sent a Video of Juvenile Bats being Relocated to their New Home
by Webmaster
Jul 21, 2017 08:34:09 am.

Brad Uploaded a Video of Bats Leaving a House to Feed
by Webmaster
Jul 21, 2017 08:28:59 am.

Here's One of the Main Reasons Why we Don't Use Poisons
by Webmaster
Jul 20, 2017 10:53:22 am.

Cameron Sent a Picture of a Bat Sealed Out of a House in Aiken, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Jul 10, 2017 11:18:30 am.

Dean Sent a Striking Picture of Bats Sealed Out of a House Using a Funnel Trap
by Webmaster
Jul 05, 2017 11:40:15 am.

Here's How Bats Were Getting Into a Columbia, South Carolina House
by Webmaster
Jul 03, 2017 11:04:54 am.

Justin Found Bat Stains on a Gable Vent at a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Jun 22, 2017 11:08:44 am.

Here's a Lovely Picture of a Pile of Bat Guano in an Attic
by Webmaster
Jun 06, 2017 10:22:05 am.

Carl Uploaded a Video of Bat Guano at a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
May 31, 2017 10:10:58 am.

Here's How Bats were Getting into a House in Columbia, South Carolina
by Webmaster
May 23, 2017 08:15:33 am.

Here's How Bats Were Getting Into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
May 12, 2017 12:57:46 pm.

Josh Discovered that Bats Used This Construction Gap to Get Into a Columbia, South Carolina Home
by Webmaster
May 02, 2017 12:02:22 pm.

Carl Found the Entry Hole at an Aiken, South Carolina Bat-Removal Job
by Webmaster
May 02, 2017 11:59:36 am.

A Bat Recycled an Old Rat Hole to Get Into an Aiken, South Carolina Home
by Webmaster
May 01, 2017 03:19:17 pm.

Chris Found an Entry Gap in the Soffit at a Sumter, South Carolina Bat-Proofing Job
by Webmaster
Apr 28, 2017 11:32:42 am.

Here's a Picture of Sealing Bats out of a House in Lexington, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Apr 27, 2017 01:52:07 pm.

Here's How the Bats Got Into a House in Sumter, South Carolina
by Webmaster
Apr 26, 2017 11:20:06 am.

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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