Of all the pests likely to take up residence in your home, bats get a pretty bad rap. But are they really that bad? They don’t actually like humans. They really, really don’t want to drink your blood (yes, there are vampire bats, but they live in South America not North Carolina and they only sup on birds). And getting tangled in your hair is the last thing on their list of priorities. When you compare bats to some of the other nasties – bed bugs that suck your blood while you sleep, termites that can literally bring your home down around your ears – they seem fairly innocuous. So, what’s the real deal with bats in Charlotte?
What do You Need to Know About Bats in Charlotte?
The problem with bat infestations
People get really frightened by bats. But the truth is, in themselves, bats pose no direct threat to humans. They won’t attack you. And while they might seek shelter in your home, they’ll stay as far away from you as possible. As creatures go, they’re basically harmless. And although they can carry pathogens that can cause illness in humans, including rabies and viruses related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), that’s only an issue if they set up home in your ventilation system, or if you’re planning on coming into direct contact with them – and for the most part, you’ll need a license to do that. The main problem with having bats in your home is the damage that they can do to it.
Bats are destructive. While nesting, they will actively chew your insulation, wiring and even woodwork. And their guano not only smells atrocious – seriously so – but carries histoplasma capsulatum, which can cause acute or chronic lung disease in humans.
How can you tell if you have a bat infestation?
Bats are shy creatures, so unless you happen to be outside and looking towards your attic at dusk, you’re unlikely to see them. But you may well hear them scratching as they set up home. But for most people, it’s the smell that first alerts them to the presence of bats. You’ll notice the acrid stench of ammonia. And if it’s coming from above, it’s most likely to be bats.
How to deal with a bat infestation
Bat infestations can be difficult to deal with. Partly because bats are protected in North Carolina. They’re not all endangered, but it can be difficult to tell the species apart, so a state-wide protection order has been issued. And partly because bats are surprisingly clever and surprisingly good at evading capture. That’s why we follow a five step process when carrying out bat removals.
- Identify the species. Each bat species behaves slightly differently and requires different handling.
- Check for pups. It is not only illegal to remove bats while they have young, but it can cause homeowners further problems if the adults are removed and the babies are left behind.
- Identify entry points and seal them up to avoid the bats returning at a later date.
- Carefully remove the whole colony, taking pains to avoid harming or distressing the bats.
- Clean up the bat guano and make the space safe for homeowners to carry out any necessary repairs. At Noosa Pest Management, we have all the necessary personal protective equipment to be able to do this safely. Because of the histoplasma capsulatum risk, it’s never a good idea to clear bat guano without PPE.
Bats are incredible creatures. And they do a lot of good in the environment, managing a whole host of our least-loved insects, including mosquitoes and agricultural pests. They’re not scary. And they don’t deserve their reputation… But they don’t make good house guests either. So, if you’re worried about a bat infestation in your home, contact Noosa Pest Management today.