Fruit bats are a vital part of the ecosystem. They can eat a significant number of insects per night, pollinate plants, and spread seeds. However, it can be a nuisance when they get in your attic. Although they’re pretty benign and shy, they can cause structural damage and foul odor.
In some cases, their droppings can grow fungi, causing respiratory issues for whoever breathes their fumes and other health risks. They can also stain your ceiling and attract more pests. If you leave them unchecked, these critters can congregate and end up setting a colony.
In this article, you can find the necessary steps to get rid of the fruit bats in your attic and keep them from invading your home in the future.
Identifying Fruit Bats
The fruit bat, which is also called the flying fox or Megabat, has a dark reddish-brown color, a short tail, large ears, and a leaf-like protrusion on its nose. They come in a variety of sizes. Some are smaller than two inches, and others reach up to 16 inches in length. Their wingspan can be as long as five feet. They have excellent vision and large eyes.
Fruit bats are a protected species in most places, so it’s illegal to kill them. The best way to get rid of bats entails repelling and sealing them off. Trying to trap or kill them can also be highly dangerous as they might become agitated. Besides, dealing with their remains is more complicated than just excluding them.
Getting Rid of Fruit Bats
Fruit bats aren’t aggressive, but they aren’t picky about where they settle. Besides the attic, other places they might choose to congregate in are chimneys and overhangs. Overall, fruit bats can cause several problems, including disease, noise, odor, and structural issues. Most of them stem from their droppings (bat guano) and urine.
You might notice a fruit bat colony quickly. Bats aren’t reclusive, so you can find them active at dusk or night as they use echolocation to find prey. It’s easy to miss out on seeing them flying out of the attic because of the hour in which they leave.
If you catch them during the day, you might see them hanging upside down and sleeping. You’re also more likely to smell them before noticing them. Bat guano and urine are significantly pungent. If you discover bats in your home, remain calm and follow the next few steps to handle the issue.
Inspect Your Attic to Locate the Bat Entries
Before doing anything to deal with the fruit bats in your attic, you must locate the place from which they’re getting in. It’s essential to seal these off later as you deal with the fruit bats. You can watch your building during the sunset as it’s the time in which fruit bats leave to search for food.
Seeing them lets you pinpoint the specific area from which they’re getting in and out of the attic. If you manage to identify the entry point, you can do a more precise inspection once you’re inside. You can usually notice stains from grease, guano, and urine from places near the entrances.
Use Bat Repellents
The next step is to make their living space inhospitable and undesirable. This way, you can encourage them to move elsewhere. There are a couple of methods in which you can do it:
Gel and Liquid Bat Repellents
Store-bought repellents contain a variety of ingredients, but they’re non-toxic. They repel bats with their taste and odor. The easiest repellent form to use is a spray, and it lets you quickly cover the entire place bats use.
Still, it’s necessary to wait until night when they’re gone to use it. If you want the product to remain active, you might have to reapply it every month or so, but it would be best to read the specific instructions beforehand.
Ultrasonic Bat Repellents
These emit high-pitched sound waves that annoy fruit bats and other pests while falling outside the human and typical household pet’s hearing ranges. They consume little power and have several settings that allow for a more effective treatment plan.
Seal off and Exclude Your Attic
Once you rid your attic of bats, it’s time to seal them off your attic for good. You can use one-way exclusion devices made for bats that fit any hole they might have used as an entryway. They’re often a one-way tube or valve that lets bats leave the attic without allowing it back inside. You can use them after applying repellents but before sealing off the entry points.
After setting these devices, a second thorough inspection of the attic is necessary. It’s essential to pay close attention to find the fruit bats’ roosting place and see whether any remain. Checking if there are more holes or cracks outside where bats could find their way inside is also a good idea.
You can seal off the entry points and prevent further infestations once you determine all the fruit bat entrances and that there aren’t any left inside. Wood, caulk, plaster, maybe some windowpanes are common materials you might need to use depending on where the entrance is.
Clean Up Bat Guano
The most significant effect of a fruit bat infestation is the damage their waste causes. Once they’re gone, you can turn to this problem and prevent further structural damage. Wear appropriate clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, gloves, and a face mask to avoid direct contact with bat guano as it can transmit various diseases.
You can use a vacuum to gather dried guano and other stuck droppings after scraping them off. It’s an excellent idea to use a cleaning product that breaks down biological matter. Also, get rid of furniture that you can’t effectively clean.
The Bottom Line
Fruit bats are a protected species, so it’s illegal to kill them. However, there are several ways to handle an infestation safely. It’s essential to determine how they’re accessing your attic to know where you need to look if you want to seal them off properly.
Use repellents alongside exclusion devices at night when they’re out. After checking that there aren’t any left, you can start to seal off the entrances you noticed after inspecting the attic and proceed to clean up the place properly.
Still, dealing with a fruit bat colony can be harder than it seems. Hiring an expert is the best method to deal with them. Wildlife control services can perform every necessary step and have every tool required to deal with them efficiently and safely.
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