At the height of summer, it’s quite possible you may have bats living somewhere in your walls or attic. At night, especially in Miami, your a/c is probably running. The cool air draws bats in and they will likely find solace during the daytime in your walls. The insulation tends to keep this area a more stable temperature.
Do I have Bats?
There are a few signs that are significant indicators that you have bats roosting in your home.
- Bats flying around your home during dawn or dusk hours.
- Droppings, or guano, on window sills and around the edge of your house
- Chirping, squeaking, or scratching sounds coming from walls and attic at night
- An ammonia smell
How Do Bats Get into My Attic?
To understand how bats get into a house or how bats get into an attic, you must learn more about building structures. The outside of your home is a barrier to the inside. A break in that barrier allows a bat indoors. Below is a list of places to check for entry points on your property:
Soffits are the materials that connect your home’s exterior walls to the planks that hang underneath your eaves. Without soffits, the rafters and beams of your home would be open and exposed. Soffits may occasionally detach in small areas, or wildlife such as woodpeckers and squirrels may break or tear them. This gives a bat just enough space to enter your home.
Fascia boards are bands or strips of materials. They serve many purposes, including holding gutters in place and closing off the ends of rafters. They are usually wood strips strong enough for adhering gutters, soffits, and roofing materials. Improper installation or damage due to the elements can leave small openings that bats may enter.
Roofs with shingles will have ridge vents along the roof’s peak. The ridge vent allows heat and humidity to exit the house. This heat will attract bats looking for a warm place to roost. If the vent is damaged or cracked, bats will use it as an entry point.
Gable vents are decorative, allowing air to flow into the attic to cool it down when the temperatures are warm. Homeowners can adjust gable vents based on how much air they want to enter the home. Open vents provide the perfect entry point for bats and other wildlife.
Roof Returns or Eaves
Decorative materials may be used during the building process to attach a roof to the side walls of the home. The construction of these materials as well as the condition of returns may determine how well they hold up to weather conditions. Poor construction can leave entry points for bats.
Chimneys are like hallways for animals. Bats can quickly fly in and out of chimneys and roost on bricks or rocks used to construct the chimney. When not in use, chimneys should be fitted with chimney caps to seal the area and prevent bats, birds, and rodents from entering your home. Caps can also prevent debris from drifting into your chimney. Debris that gets stuck can create a fire hazard.
Siding, whether wall panels or corners, can be damaged by weather over time or by a random rock thrown by a lawn mower. Nuisance wildlife may also cause damage. If it is not installed correctly, wall panels can buckle. Any of these scenarios give bats the perfect opportunity to use your home as a roost.
Can I Exterminate Bats?
Bats are some of the most important creatures in our ecosystem. Alongside bees, they work to pollinate up to 60% of the produce in our diet. In addition to their pollination, they are also some of the best natural pest controllers out there, consuming up to 8000 insects in a single night. Because of this, there are restrictions on how you can handle bats. For instance, it is unlawful to purposefully harm or kill bats.
If you suspect that there are bats in your home, it may be a good idea to get a professional out for an inspection. Luckily, Critter Control® of Miami has expert technicians trained in the best ways to handle a bat situation, so they can safely remove the animals and clean up after them. To get started today, give us a call at 305-258-3587.