Signs of a bat infestation in your attic

The Top 10 Signs You Have Bats In Your Attic

Wildlife removal specialist holding bat after removalAre you smelling strange odours coming from your attic, or has your cat brought a dead bat into your home? Are you seeing black droppings around your porch or window sill? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and are suspicious of the bat activity near your home, continue reading for the top 10 signs that bats are living in your attic.

Being sure as to whether you have a bat problem is the difference between spending a few hundred dollars on bat removal, or spending thousands of dollars on removal and attic repairs combined.

Below is a summary of the signs your attic is infested with bats with a detailed explanation to follow:

  1. You see bat guano (bat droppings) around your home
  2. You see oily streaks around certain parts of your home
  3. You hear sounds in your attic
  4. You see a bat in your home
  5. Your attic has a strong pungent odour
  6. You see bats flying to and from your home
  7. Your pet brings home a bat
  8. You see stains on your ceilings
  9. You see dead bats in or around your property
  10. You see piles of black droppings on your attic insulation

Read the following which is an explanation of each of the points above:

1. You see bat guano (bat droppings) around your home

Bat droppings on front porch of homeBat guano is dark coloured and pebbly, and it accumulates in and around your home whenever there’s a bat infestation. It’s usually found in accumulated in piles around their entry and exit points and is one of the sure signs they live in your attic.

One of the first things wildlife removal technicians commonly do is examine the animal dung they find in order to determine which wildlife problem you may have.

Bat guano does pose a health risk to pets and humans so if you do see it, try to stay away from it as much as possible. Whenever piles of bat guano are found around your home, you can be pretty sure bats live in your attic and that it’s time to call your local pest control company for an inspection.

2. You see oily streaks around certain parts of your home

Bat oily stains at entrance pointThere are many ways bats can get into an attic and when they do, they’ll leave behind a black streaky and oily mess that is a sure mark of a bat entry point. When bats are entering or exiting the small holes to and from their roost area (in your attic), the oil that is produced by their skin accumulates at the entry point and becomes an obvious visual sign that you have an infestation.

If your wildlife technician can’t tell right away whether you have an infestation or not, this oily resin is one of the surefire signs that something isn’t right.

Bat entrance points can be found virtually anywhere around your home that has a hole big enough for them to get through, and that’s where stains will be found. Some of the common areas they enter is around windows, under the soffit, through cracks in your chimney, between bricks and siding, under the roof-line, through the fascia, around the dormer, and quite commonly through holes created by other forms of wildlife.

3. You hear sounds in your attic

Bats are silent flyers but sometimes when they’re in your attic they can be heard. Bats are usually heard when one or more of them have become trapped somewhere in your attic, or behind the walls. In such cases you can hear them trying to escape the area they’re trapped in. You can hear them hitting the drywall, air vents or the wooden structure of your home, depending on exactly where they’ve been trapped.

DID YOU KNOW? In Canada the law defines a number of bats as protected species which means in most circumstances, even if they’re in your attic, you cannot kill or remove them. Click the link above to find out which bats are considered protected species in Canada and the process you must follow in order to remove them.

4. You see a bat in your home

With bat infestations comes the occasional surprise of a bat flying around your home. When bats roost in an attic, they sometimes move around, become trapped, or waddles along to sections of the attic that can lead right to the common areas.

Seeing a bat in your home isn’t always a sign that you have a bat problem, but it should compel you to investigate the other signs we’ve mentioned. There’s at least a 50/50 chance that the bat flying around your living room came from a bat roost in your attic.

Seeing a bat flying around the inside of your home can be a scary but don’t worry. It probably won’t hurt you and if you remain calm, you can help it fly back outside. One way to help it get back out is by opening a window and wait patiently for it to leave. When a window is open they’ll know, and the next opportunity it has to leave, it will try to make it’s escape.

Alternatively, if it’s in a room, you can close the door to keep it in there, and call your local wildlife removal company. They’ll get the bat out safely and also provide you with an inspection to determine if you’re harbouring a roost in your attic.

5. Your attic has a strong pungent odour

Piles of bat guanoIf you go up into your attic and can smell a pungent ammonia type of odour, you probably have a bat infestation. Bat droppings and urine can create a terribly strong odour that you don’t want to breath in and pretty much should avoid. When wildlife removal technicians perform attic restoration jobs, they wear masks and other protective clothing to ensure they don’t spread contamination or breathe in any dangerous waste particulates.

Even though you may not be able to access every part of your attic, or if you’re not able to see your attic because of the darkness, one of the sure signs of an infestation is the horrible smell that bats emanate.

If you smell something strange and bitter throughout your home, and the smell is not going away, a bat or some other animal is definitely living in your walls or attic and it’s highly advised that you take a closer look at the problem.

6. You see bats flying to and from your home

Swarm of bats around property treesSeeing swarms of bats continually hovering around your home every evening is one of the colossal signs bats live in your attic. Home owners with bats in their attics tend to see anywhere from 1 or 2 bats flying back and forth, to swarms of them flying in and out of their attic all night long.

Bats flying to and from your home is a strong indicator that you have an infestation. If this is the case, the bats have become quite established in your attic and your only recourse is to call your local pest control experts. They’ll assess the situation and set up a plan to remove them promptly.

7. Your pet brings home a bat

It’s not the most joyous moment when a pet brings home a live or dead bat, and it’s also probably a sign you have a bat problem.

Sure, dogs and cats bring home animals they’ve found all the time, and it doesn’t always mean you have an animal infestation in your attic. However, if a pet has brought a bat into your home there’s a good chance there’s more where that came from, and it’s better to investigate the other signs in this document just to be sure.

If your pet brings a bat into your home more than once, and/or it continues to happen, we would suggest that you waste no time and call your local pest control company right away so they can get out there and do a thorough inspection.

8. You see stains in your ceilings

The longer bats have been roosting in your attic, the higher the chance that mildew, urine, guano, moisture and other materials will build up and start seeping through your ceiling.

A leaky ceiling is definitely a worse case scenario and most home owners that discover bats are in their attic, get the problem resolved quickly. There are times however, when they go unnoticed for so long that a tremendous mess is created that will eventually seep through the ceiling and become more obvious.

The ceiling stains usually start out small and unnoticed and get bigger and more obvious over time. Our suggestion would be to examine the ceiling in the rooms just under your attic and if you see small stains developing, check the other signs in this document and investigate the issue further.

If stains have started to seep through your ceiling, it’s definitely time to get a pest control company out there and fix the problem quickly because it’s starting to get bad.

9. You see dead bats in or around your property

Seeing one or numerous dead bats around your property is a sign of a few issues. One reason could be that the bat community in your area have become sick and/or have contracted a deadly disease. It can also mean that those bats – sick or dead – were roosting in your attic too.

If you see a few dead bats around your home, you’ll want to get your attic inspected pronto. Recent epidemics of disease (like White Nose syndrome) among bat communities have pushed some species to the brink of extinction, so seeing a number of dead bats around your home should also be reported.

When we come across dead bats during our work, we report the problem to the Ontario SPCA. They then report the issue to the proper governing authority that investigates unnatural bat deaths, and upholds the laws under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

10. You see piles of black droppings on your attic insulation

Piles of bat guano about to seep through the ceilingIf you have bats in your attic you’re definitely going to find piles of bat dropping scattered across your attic insulation. Bats usually leave their droppings in apparently designated areas so it’s almost impossible not to see it.

If a family of bats has recently made your attic their home, you’re not going to see a massive accumulation of bat guano just yet, but if you’re able to maneuver around your attic, you may be able to see signs of their presence by the few black pebbly droppings you find. Note that this is just a sign that the problem has started and in order to save yourself a lot of money you’ll want to get a bat removal team out there as soon as possible.

If you’re only seeing minimal amounts of guano on your attic insulation, and you do get the bats removed promptly you can also save your attic insulation and reduce the odds that you’ll have to get everything replaced. On of the ways to ensure a bat or any other wildlife infestation doesn’t occur is by applying wildlife prevention measures as a safeguard to future wildlife intrusions.

What should you do if you realize you have bats in your attic?

If after reading the above signs and having determined you have a bat issue, don’t waste any time. Call your local wildlife removal company and have them come out for an inspection within the next few days if possible. They’ll be sure to assess your problem, and inform you as to what needs to be done next.

As mentioned earlier, because a large number of bats are considered protected species, the removal process has to be done right and cannot involve hindering or injuring them. It also has to be performed at the right time of the year. Anything beyond that is putting yourself at risk of breaking the law, and further adding to the declining numbers of local bat populations.

One response to “The Top 10 Signs You Have Bats In Your Attic”

  1. Kim Morrison says:

    How much do you charge to assess whether a home has bats?

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