Bat removal is one of our most-needed services, especially during the warmer months when bats in and around Atlanta are most active. That's when it sometimes becomes a challenge to keep up with the demand for bat removal. But we also get some bat calls during the cooler months, especially during mild winters.
A lot of people are afraid of bats, which really is kind of a shame because they're very interesting, mainly beneficial animals who have an important place in our natural ecosystem. For example, if you hate our Atlanta mosquitoes, then you should thank bats that there aren't even more of them, because mosquitoes are a delicacy for bats. The bats of Georgia collectively eat millions of them every night.
In fact, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a single bat can consume between 600 and 1000 insects every single night. Think about that for a while. Just the thought of that many more mosquitoes makes you want to start scratching. And because mosquitoes are much bigger disease vectors than bats are, bats actually help keep us healthy.
Let's take a few moments to talk about bats before we talk about how and why to control them.
Well, technically not a class, but an order. Bats are neither rodents nor birds. They're the sole members of the taxonomic order Chiroptera, which means "winged hand." A bat's front leg can be compared to a very short arm to which a very large hand with very long fingers is attached. The fingers have membranes extending between them, and when the bat stretches out its fingers, those membranes form wings.
In other words, a bat's wings are actually its hands, with webbing stretched between the fingers. They are the only animals in the world who have wings built like that.
Bats are unique among mammals because they can take off and gain altitude from a resting position and perform complex maneuvers while in flight. No other mammal can do that. Flying squirrels really can't "fly" so much as they can glide, nor can they gain altitude or perform complex maneuvers.
There are at least 16 species of bats that we know of in Georgia. Two of them, the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus), account for almost all of the bat control work performed by Georgia pest control and wildlife removal companies.
Like bats in general, both of these bats are protected under both federal and state wildlife laws. That's why there's no such thing as a "bat exterminator." Anyone who controls bats in a way that deliberately kills them or causes them harm is committing a crime. Bats are controlled by exclusion, or what a lot of folks call "bat-proofing." That means waiting until the bats leave the house or building -- which they do pretty much every night anyway -- and then sealing them out.
Bat exclusion is very detailed work that requires specialized knowledge of bat biology and behavior, the ability to use a wide range of tools, and specialized materials and equipment. That's why very few do-it-yourself bat-proofing jobs are successful. The same is true for most bat exclusion done by handymen and carpenters. Very few people other than animal control specialists have the knowledge, experience, and tools to permanently seal bats out of a home or other building.
The problem with bats is that as helpful as they are, like all animals, they do carry their share of diseases. When bats get into homes, lofts, church steeples, or other buildings used by humans or domestic animals, they create a health hazard. Bat guano (poop) contains germs and fungi that can cause serious diseases, and bats can have ectoparasites like fleas, ticks, mites, and bat bugs. Some of these arthropods can transmit diseases.
Bats also have a fairly high incidence of rabies, although not as high as some people think. According the the CDC, it's somewhere around 6 percent, on average, among bats that were turned in to be tested. The percentage of rabid bats in wild populations may actually be lower. Nonetheless, we're talking about an incurable and particularly gruesome disease, so even a small percentage is something to be concerned about.
So long story short, as much as we love bats, we don't want them living in our homes.
When we do a bat-removal and bat-proofing job, we make sure to clean up after the bats. They're not the tidiest critters. We clean up and haul away the guano, and if needed, we can also replace the contaminated insulation. This is especially important if you have a heating or air-conditioning unit in the attic. You don't want to be blowing all those germs and fungus spores throughout your home. (Please note that guano removal and insulation replacement, if needed, are quoted separately from bat removal and exclusion.)
In a nutshell, bat control's not an easy job. It requires a lot of skill, experience, and specialized equipment. But no worries. At Rid-A-Critter, we have all of those things. We can handle any bat-removal and bat-exclusion job, whether it's at a home, church, school, or industrial building. We can handle the entire job, from obtaining the permits, to hauling away the guano. And we stand behind our work with the best warranty in the business.
If you have a problem with bats and are located anywhere within the Atlanta area, please contact us for a no-obligation inspection and estate. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.
Here are a few randomly-selected pictures of some of the thousands of bat control and bat-proofing jobs we've done in and around Atlanta. And here's a video that Jason took of a young bat he found in a house in Atlanta, and another bat video that Jeff took at a house in Atlanta.
Bat entry gap into a house in Stone Mountain
Bats removed from an attic in Buckhead
Bats got into an Atlanta home through this gap
Smudge marks found at Lithonia bat removal job
Bat guano in an attic in Atlanta, Georgia
Bats sealed out of a gable vent in Marietta
Bat problem at a house in Winder
Bat control job at a commercial building
Droppings and rub marks are signs of a bat problem
Bat removed from a home in Mableton, Georgia
Bat guano at a Tyrone, Georgia bat removal job
Attic bat control and removal in Douglasville, GA
Bat rub marks on a house in Peachtree City
Bats in attic vent at an Atlanta bat removal job
Bat in the basement of a house in Atlanta
What a bat bug looks like
Bat entry point into a house in Smyrna
Engorged bat bug feeding on a bat
Bat entry gap into a house in Marietta
Bats sealed out of a house in Smyrna
Bats huddled in an attic during a bat removal job
Bats and guano in a gable vent in Sandy Springs
Bat guano in an attic in Atlanta
Bat hole in a window frame in Sandy Springs