Pennsylvania Bats

Introduction

Before you get too upset about the bats in your house, open your mind to the following facts: bats are the only flying mammal in the world, and bats are very beneficial in that they can eat over 500 flying insects per hour all night long. Over 40 species of bats live in North America - and there's not a vampire among them!  Bats need a safe place to roost in the daytime and much of their natural habitat is dwindling. While they do get into occupied dwellings, there is a safe, effective, and responsible way to deal with the problem.
 

Hazards

Like other mammals, a very small percentage of bats contract rabies (figures issued by health departments may show a higher percentage since sick bats are easier to catch than healthy bats). Exposure to the rabies virus is remote if contact with bats is avoided and pets are properly vaccinated. 

Histoplasmosis
is an airborne fungus disease that can grow in pigeon and bat droppings (guano), but usually the guano must have contact with moist soil, which is normally not present in a dry attic environment. 

Human inhalation is usually the result of stirring up dust that contains contaminated fungus spores, therefore it is not recommended to clean up bat guano unless there is a serious odor or health problem. Bat guano should only be cleaned up by trained personnel with the proper safety equipment. 

Bats are host to ectoparasites such as bat bugs (a close relative of the bed bug). Fortunately ectoparasites associated with bats are usually host specific, and rarely bite pets or humans. Ectoparasites can be controlled by an insecticide treatment to the roost after the bats are evicted.
 

Damage

Humans object to the bat's noise (squeaking, scratching, crawling in attics and walls), stains, and odors caused by urine and droppings. Most bat complaints occur in July and August when bats enter houses via overhangs, eaves, unscreened vents, end construction gaps. Bats can squeeze through holes 3/8" wide (a dime sized hole). They occasionally enter the house through chimneys and open windows, and many actually get lost and enter the building interior after migrating through the structure to seek a preferred temperature zone.


Biology and Habits of House Bats

Bats are nocturnal (active at night) and have a 6 - 12" wingspan. They are insectivores (eat insects), and some species eat up to half their body weights each night in flying insects. Bats usually breed in fall or winter. Pregnant females congregate in maternity colonies until birth occurs between April and July. There are usually 1- 2 young that begin flying at 3 - 5 weeks of age.

Large colonies are usually found in caves and mines, while bats that live in trees are solitary. These bats are not normally found in structures, although a few species of bats will enter buildings to roost. Little brown bats commonly invade structures in the spring and summer, while big brown bats use buildings year-round for raising young and hibernation. Mexican free-tailed bats and pallid bats occasionallyenter structures and are found primarily in the Southwest U.S.
 

Control

Individual bats that get into the living space of a house can often be let out by opening the doors and/or windows. Exclusion is the number one priority in bat management. Thorough exclusion of all holes larger than 1/4" is needed at all potential openings, especially in the top half of the building, and bat control should be left up to professionals. Contact the professionals at your local Critter Control office for further information on bat removal and control.
 

Toxicants

Poisoning bats is illegal and usually leads to an increased number of contacts with people and pets in the vicinity. Repellents are generally ineffective against bats and may even drive bats further into the structure.


Management

Bats, despite their obvious value, are unjustifiably persecuted. Public education on bat conservation and responsible bat control methods are needed. Check to see if the local Critter Control office offers installation of bat houses to keep the bats around after they are evicted from inside the structure.

For further information on bat removal call Bat Conservation International at (512) 327-9721. We recommend reading "America's Neighborhood Bats" by Dr. Merlin Tuttle for information on how to live in harmony with these winged wonders.

Our local Pennsylvania offices offer Bats services in the following cities: Abbottstown, Abington, Ackermanville, Adamsburg, Adamstown, Akron, Alburtis, Aldan, Allenport, Allentown, Alquippa, Ambler, Apollo, Applewood, Ardmore, Arendtsville, Armagh, Arnold, Arona, Aspinwall, Atglen, Atwood, Audubon, Avalon, Avondale, Avonmore, Bala Cynwyd, Baldwin, Bally, Baltimore, Bangor, Bath, Beallsville, Beaver, Bechtelsville, Bell Acres, Bellevue, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Bendersville, Bensalem, Bentleyville, Bernville, Bethel Park, Bethel Park, Bethlehem, Big Run, Biglerville, Birdsboro, Blairsville, Blawnox, Blue Bell, Bolivar, Bonneauville, Boyertown, Brackenridge, Braddock, Braddock Hills, Bradford Woods, Brentwood, Bridgeport, Bridgeville, Bristol, Brockway, Brookhaven, Brookville, Bruin, Bryn Athyn, Bryn Mawr, Burgettstown, Butler, California, Callensburg, Callery, Callery, Canonsburg, Carnegie, Carroll Valley, Castle Shannon, Catasaqua, Center Valley, Center Valley, Centerport, Centerville, Chalfant, Chalfont, Chapman, Charleroi, Cherry Tree, Cherry Valley, Chester, Chester Heights, Cheswick, Chicora, Christiana, Churchill, Clairton, Clarion, Claysville, Clifton Heights, Clymer, Coal Center, Coatesville, Cokeburg, Collegeville, Collingdale, Columbia, Colwyn, Connoquenessing, Conshohocken, Coopersburg, Coplay, Coraopolis, Corsica, Crafton, Creekside, Cross Roads, Daisytown, Dallastown, Darby, Dayton, Deemston, Delmont, Delta, Denver, Derry, Dillsburg, Donegal, Donora, Dormont, Douglassville, Dover, Downingtown, Doylestown, Dravosburg, Dublin, Dunlevy, Duquesne, East Bangor, East Berlin, East Brady, East Butler, East Greenville, East Lansdowne, East Mckeesport, East Petersburg, East Pittsburgh, East Prospect, East Vandergrift, East Washington, Easton, Eau Claire, Eddystone, Edgewood, Edgeworth, Edinburg, Elco, Elderton, Elizabeth, Elizabethtown, Elkins Park, Ellsworth, Elverson, Emmaus, Emsworth, Ephrata, Ernest, Etna, Evans City, Export, Fairfield, Fairplay, Fairview, Falls Creek, Fawn Grove, Felton, Finleyville, Finleyville, Fleetwood, Fogelsville, Folcroft, Ford City, Ford Cliff, Forest Hills, Fort Washington, Fountain Hill, Fox Chapel, Fox Chapel, Foxburg, Franklin Park, Franklintown, Freemansburg, Freeport, Gastonville, George G Meade, Gettysburg, Gilbertsville, Gladwyne, Glassport, Glen Campbell, Glen Rock, Glendon, Glenfield, Glenolden, Glenshaw, Glenside, Goldsboro, Green Hills, Green Lane, Green Tree, Greensburg, Greensburg, Greensburg, Hallam, Hamburg, Hanover, Harmony, Harmony, Harrisville, Hatboro, Hatfield, Hawthorn, Haysville, Heidelberg, Hellertown, Hellertown, Homer City, Homestead, Honey Brook, Horsham, Houston, Hulmeville, Hunker, Huntingdon Valley, Hyde Park, Ijamsville, Imperial, Indiana, Indiana Township, Ingram, Irwin, Ivyland, Jacobus, Jeannette, Jefferson, Jefferson, Jefferson Hills, Jenkintown, Jenkintown, Joffre, Karns City, Keedysville, Kenhorst, Kennett Square, King Of Prussia, Kittanning, Knox, Koppel, Kutztown, Kutztown, Ladiesburg, Lancaster, Langeloth, Langhorne, Langhorne Manor, Lansdale, Lansdowne, Latrobe, Laurel Mountain Park, Laureldale, Leechburg, Leesport, Leetsdale, Lenhartsville, Lewisberry, Liberty, Ligonier, Lincoln, Lititz, Littlestown, Loganville, Long Branch, Lower Burrell, Lower Makefield, Lower Merion, Lyons, Macungie, Madison, Malvern, Manchester, Manheim, Manor, Manorville, Marcus Hook, Marianna, Marianna, Marietta, Marion Center, Mars, Maugansville, Mcdonald, Mckees Rocks, Mckeesport, Mcsherrystown, Media, Midway, Millbourne, Millersville, Millersville, Millvale, Modena, Mohnton, Monessen, Monongahela, Monroeville, Monroeville, Morrisville, Morton, Mount Joy, Mount Oliver, Mount Penn, Mount Pleasant, Mount Wolf, Mountville, Mt. Lebanon, Munhall, Murrysville, Narberth, Nazareth, New Alexandria, New Bedford, New Bethlehem, New Britain, New Eagle, New Florence, New Freedom, New Holland, New Hope, New Kensington, New Market, New Morgan, New Oxford, New Salem, New Stanton, Newtown, Norristown, North Apollo, North Braddock, North Catasauqua, North Charleroi, North Irwin, North Wales, North York, Northampton, Norwood, Oakdale, Oakmont, Oklahoma, Osborne, Oxford, Parker, Parkesburg, Parkside, Pen Argyl, Penn, Penn Hills, Penndel, Pennsburg, Pennsbury Village, Perkasie, Petrolia, Phoenixville, Pitcairn, Pittsburgh, Pleasant Hills, Plum, Plumville, Plymouth Meeting, Port Vue, Portersville, Portland, Pottstown, Prospect, Prospect Park, Punxsutawney, Quakertown, Quarryville, Radnor, Railroad, Rankin, Reading, Red Hill, Red Lion, Renfrew, Reynoldsville, Richlandtown, Ridley Park, Riegelsville, Rimersburg, Robesonia, Rockledge, Roscoe, Rose Valley, Roseto, Rosslyn Farms, Royersford, Rural Valley, Rutledge, Sabillasville, Saint Lawrence, Saint Petersburg, Saltsburg, Saxonburg, Scenery Hill, Schwenksville, Scottdale, Sellersville, Seven Fields, Seven Valleys, Seward, Sewickley, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills, Sharon Hill, Sharpsburg, Sharpsburg, Shelocta, Shillington, Shippenville, Shoemakersville, Shrewsbury, Silver Spring, Silverdale, Sinking Spring, Slatington, Sligo, Slippery Rock, Smicksburg, Smithton, Souderton, South Bethlehem, South Coatesville, South Greensburg, Southampton, Speers, Spring City, Spring Grove, Springdale, Stewartstown, Stockdale, Stockertown, Strasburg, Strattanville, Strausstown, Summerville, Sutersville, Swarthmore, Swissvale, Sykesville, Tarentum, Tatamy, Telford, Temple, Terre Hill, Thornburg, Timblin, Topton, Trafford, Trainer, Trappe, Tredyffrin, Trumbauersville, Tullytown, Turtle Creek, Twilight, Unionville, Upland, Upper Dublin, Upper St. Clair, Valencia, Valencia, Vandergrift, Vernon, Verona, Versailles, Villanova, Walkersville, Wall, Walnutport, Wampum, Washington, Wellsville, Wernersville, West Alexander, West Brownsville, West Chester, West Conshohocken, West Easton, West Elizabeth, West Grove, West Homestead, West Kittanning, West Leechburg, West Liberty, West Middletown, West Mifflin, West Newton, West Reading, West Sunbury, West View, West York, Whitaker, White Oak, Whitehall, Whitehall, Whitehall, Wilkinsburg, Willow Street, Wilmerding, Wilson, Wind Gap, Windsor, Winterstown, Womelsdorf, Worthington, Worthville, Wrightsville, Wyomissing, Yardley, Yeadon, Yoe, York, York Haven, York Springs, Yorkana, Youngstown, Youngwood, Zelienople

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