Are Bats Beneficial or Dangerous?
Although bats are extremely effective at controlling insects, they’re not an animal you want in or near your home. The CDC reports that while most bats don’t have rabies, about 6% do, and it’s impossible to tell which ones do or don’t have rabies just by looking at them. If a bat bites you and you are unable to secure the bat for testing, you may have to undergo rabies treatments as a precautionary measure, which typically involves a series of injections.
- Bats are mammals in the order Chiroptera. The forelimbs of all bats are developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of sustained flight. There are approximately 1,100 species of bats worldwide, accounting for about 20% of all mammal species. About 70% of bats are insectivores, while the rest are frugivores, with a few species being carnivorous. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform a vital ecological role by pollinating flowers, and also serve an important role in seed dispersal. Many tropical plants are entirely dependent on bats.
- Bats range greatly in size. The smallest bat is a Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat, measuring 29–33 mm (1.14–1.30 in) in length and 2 g (0.07 oz) in mass. The largest bat today is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, which has a wing span of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and weighs approximately 1.2 kg (3 lb).
- Although bats are critical to the ecosystem, they do more harm than good if they take up residence in your home.
Signs You May Have a Bat Infestation
There are many signs you may have a bat infestation in your home, including:
- Hearing scratching or scurrying noises in your walls or attic
- Smelling a strong odor of urine, particularly on days that are very hot
- Finding bat droppings inside of your house, particularly in the attic or garage
- Seeing bats flying away from your home just after sunset
- Finding dead bats in or around your home
Many people who have a bat infestation in their home may never see an actual bat, but they may hear the bats scurrying around or they may see or smell bat droppings.
When to Call a NH & MA Bat Removal Professional
If you suspect that you have a bat infestation, it’s critical to contact an animal control or pest removal professional as soon as possible. At Freedom Pest Control, we take a humane but effective approach to removing live bats from your home, and will work to seal up points of entry to prevent bats from getting back in.