Discovering a bat in your attic can be unsettling. Not only can their presence be a nuisance, but it also poses potential health risks. In this blog post, we'll explore the dangers of having a bat in your attic and provide guidance on what you can do about it.
Dangers of Bats in Your Attic:
- Health Risks: Bats are known carriers of diseases like rabies, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches. While most bats do not have rabies, it's essential to treat all encounters with bats as potentially infectious.
- Fecal Matter: Bat droppings, known as guano, can accumulate in your attic. These droppings may contain harmful pathogens, including fungal spores that can cause respiratory diseases when inhaled.
- Structural Damage: Bats may cause structural damage to your attic by gnawing on wood, insulation, and electrical wiring. Their presence can also lead to odors and staining from urine and feces.
- Noise and Disturbance: Bats can be noisy, especially at night when they are most active. The sounds of fluttering wings and scratching can disrupt your sleep and daily life.
- Increased Pest Activity: Bats can attract other pests, such as bat bugs or mites. When bats leave their roosts, these pests may remain behind and infest your attic.
What Can You Do About It?
If you discover a bat in your attic, it's essential to take action promptly. First, it is important to note that it is illegal to remove a bat during certain parts of the year and can be dangerous. We highly recommend hiring professionals for all phases of this project. Here's what needs to be done:
- Do Not Handle Bats: Avoid direct contact with bats, as they may bite if they feel threatened. Always wear gloves if you must handle a bat and seek medical attention immediately if you are bitten or scratched.
- Keep Your Distance: If a bat is in your living space, open windows and doors to provide an exit route. Bats are excellent flyers and can find their way out when given the opportunity.
- Seal Off the Attic: To prevent further bat entry, seal all potential entry points in your attic. Bats can squeeze through tiny openings, so pay close attention to gaps around roof vents, chimneys, and eaves.
- Use Exclusion Devices: After sealing off the attic, install one-way exclusion devices at the main entry points. These devices allow bats to exit but not re-enter the attic. Ensure all bats have left before sealing the entry points permanently.
- Consider Professional Help: Dealing with bats in your attic can be challenging and potentially dangerous. It's often best to seek professional assistance from wildlife control experts who have experience in bat removal and exclusion.
- Attic Cleanup: After bats have been removed, have a professional bio-hazard restoration company thoroughly clean and disinfect your attic. Companies like STOP Restoration in Spokane will remove bat guano, replace contaminated insulation, and sanitize the area to eliminate health risks.
- Prevent Recurrence: To prevent future bat infestations, maintain your home by periodically inspecting for potential entry points and promptly addressing any issues.
While bats are essential for ecosystem health and play a crucial role in insect control, having them in your attic can pose various dangers, including health risks, structural damage, and disturbances. If you discover a bat in your attic, it's essential to prioritize your safety and take appropriate action. Do not handle bats directly, seal entry points, use exclusion devices, and consider professional assistance for safe and effective removal. By addressing the issue promptly and taking preventive measures, you can mitigate the dangers of having bats in your attic and maintain a safe and healthy living environment.