A Bat in My Attic!!
Folks, there was something making sounds in our attic a few months back. We had the exterminator come and check it out thinking mice, we’ve had some before. Well, the guy came down from the attic and said he didn’t see any signs of mice, but he did find bat poop! He told me the difference with mouse poop and bat poop so I’ll share it with you. Mouse poop is hard little black pieces, bat poop is super glittery – they eat insects and don’t digest the wings leaving the sparkle droppings. Great and gross.
So naturally I was like, “set some traps and get them out” – and then he replied, “yeah – not quit…bats are endangered so they cannot be killed like mice. The plot thickens…and I’m waiting to hear how we get the bat or bats OUT!
Endangered??? I mean, bats? Why? Aren’t there thousands living in the woods all over the place? Well, some insane disease is killing them off in huge numbers. We had no idea.
In North America, over 5.7 million of bats have been killed by White-nose Syndrome, a wildlife disease that continues its spread across the continent. Caused by a cold-loving fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, WNS attacks hibernating bats, causing mortality rates that approach 100 percent at some sites. The disease was first spotted in a cave in Upstate New York in February 2006 and has since expanded across the eastern half of the United States and Canada. Despite tireless scientific efforts to find a solution, the disease is still killing huge numbers of bats. Until the arrival of WNS, two Endangered U.S. species, the Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) and gray myotis (M. grisescens), were showing promising signs of recovery. That now seems doubtful. And scientists predict that the once common little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), will be reduced to just 1% of its pre-WNS population numbers by 2030.
We’ve been doing a lot of research looking for a humane way to get them out. The exterminator had told me the cost to remove bats can easily be over a thousand dollars. They basically have to build this structure around the perimeter of the roof with an exit door so the bats can leave and not be able to get back in. That is a huge amount of cash! This can’t be done in the warmer months because there could be a baby in the roost so we are at a stand-still right now. So we wait and weigh our options while listening to them scuffle in the attic.
Bats can squeeze through extremely small gaps – 3/8 of an inch. They like to fly into homes at small architectural gaps near the edge of the roofline, usually. From there, they crawl to their roosting spots. It’s often easy to spot where they are going in and out, because they leave brown staining from the grease and oil in their fur, at the entry point
I am SO unnerved. We’ve seen a couple bats flying around the house at dusk since this is when they start to move around. TJ has surveyed the outside of the roof looking for ways they could be getting in. We have sealed off a few spots making sure not to completely close everything off – because then they would not be able to exit and it would be fatal.
We are thinking of getting a bat roost for the woods behind our house to give them a safe place to live that isn’t in our attic once they are out. We haven’t been up there since the exterminator visit for fear of letting one into the living area! OMG!
Have you ever dealt with anything like this? Do you have any tips or DIY advice on how to get the bats out? I’ll keep you posted – we won’t be moving forward until mid-late August once any offspring have been born and can fly out with everyone else!