Bats usually start appearing in the eastern U.S. as winter turns to spring, looking for new places to set up their colonies. This search has brought bats into residential areas due to two factors; the destruction of their natural habitats and the extension of suburban sprawl into those same areas. Here are 5 signs that a colony of bats has set up shop in your attic.
- Increased chirping sounds – Spring brings about the return of birds as well, which can make distinguishing the chirps of these different animals a little more difficult during daytime hours. Bats, however, are nocturnal so the sound of chirping throughout the night may be an indication that the development of a full-blown colony is underway.
- Scratching noises – In truth, any scratching noises inside your walls or from the attic are probably signifying some kind of infestation that should be dealt with, but the scratching noises that are generated by a bat colony are unique in two ways; they will be heard only at night and will come from an expanding area as the colony’s population increases in number.
- The increasingly strong smell of ammonia – Bat droppings, referred to as guano, have a strong scent of ammonia that will only get worse as the colony expands.
- Bat droppings at the point of entry – Bats can enter an attic through openings as small as 3/8 of an inch and often leave droppings as they enter the structure. Look for gaps in the flashing around any roof penetrations that go into the attic and for vents that allow for direct access to the structure. As you might imagine, increasing quantities of guano will be easier to find over time.
- Seeing bats leaving in the evening and returning during the dawn hours – If you’re looking for the most conclusive evidence of a bat infestation, this is the one. Call a professional removal team immediately as bats are considered a protected species, meaning that improper removal techniques that harm or kill these animals can result in costly fines. Lastly, take note of the areas where bats are taking off and landing so that these spaces can be sealed by a professional roofing company once the bat colony has been removed.
Bats are generally not a danger to people, but they can carry rabies and their colonies can have negative effects on the structure. If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned signs indicating that bats have infested your attic, take action immediately so that the problem can be dealt with while it is still relatively small rather than trying to remove a large and growing population at a later date.
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