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IMPORTANT BAT REMOVAL INFORMATION

  • The first thing you need to know about bats is that they are protected and you cannot kill or capture them.
  •  April 15th to August 15th is considered bat maternity season and bats may not be handled by a homeowner or a professional unless they are inside your dwelling. 
  • There are special ways bats must be removed from homes. Doing this improperly can result in stiff fines.
  • Bat guano can be very dangerous to your health. It is also very acidic and damaging to buildings.

Our Sarasota - Bradenton clients ask us "aren't they just flying rats?" or they often assume they are some type of bird. The truth is, bats are mammals. There are more than 1,200 species of bats and they make up about one-fifth of all mammal species. They range from the world's smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny, to giant flying foxes with six-foot wingspans. You will not find any vampire bats in Florida or the United States for that matter. Only three species of bats are actually vampires and they are all only found in Latin America. They really do feed on blood although they lap it like kittens rather than sucking it up as commonly thought with vampires.

Bats are a benefit to Florida residents by providing free pest control. Bats prey on large amounts of annoying night-flying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats. More than two-thirds of bat species hunt insects and they have an enormous appetite. A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour. A pregnant or nursing female bat typically eats her entire body weight in insects each night. They also eat other insects that feed on commercial plants. Bats help to pollinate the ecosystem. A few of the commercial products that depend on bat pollinators for wild or cultivated varieties include: bananas, avocados, dates, figs, peaches, durian, cloves, cashews, carob and balsa wood.

Although bats can have advantages, they can be a danger to humans either from a bite or with their droppings. Bats can fit in holes or gaps less than one inch. The bat's ability to squeeze in extremely small areas requires the exclusion and removal process from a home to have an extremely high attention to detail. Compounding this difficulty is that bats are a protected species. Bats cannot be handled. Picking bats up and removing them is only permitted if they are inside a structure that is inhabited by humans. If the removal process is not done properly, it may result in death for the bats.

Bats have a “season” in which they cannot be handled. April 15th - August 15th is considered bat maternity season and bats many not be disturbed. Many people ignore them simply hoping they will go away but bats will continue to multiply and add to the obnoxious smell, high pitched squeaking noises, damage to your home and increased health risks.

Bats are particularly fond of making their home in the gable roof vents, chimney caps, soffit areas, behind vinyl siding, and under barrel tile roofs. The quicker the problem is dealt with, the less damage, cleanup, and removal costs are incurred. Bat guano is very acidic and damaging. Bat urine and guano will accumulate over time resulting in liquefied guano dripping off roofs, eating away at roofing underlayment, staining concrete, paint, roof tiles, pool surfaces, and more. If an attic is infested with bats, the guano may begin dripping through ceilings, ruin insulation, sheet rock, ceiling tiles, and in severe cases will cause the interior of the ceiling to collapse. Bat guano has an awful and unique smell making it easy to identify. You will probably never forget it once you know it. The smell of guano often gives many people an instant headache.

Halloween week is also bat week

Bat Week is an international celebration of the many wonders of bats. Bats play vital roles in ecosystems, but they face some major threats, like disease and habitat loss.

Everyone can help bats during Bat Week (and the rest of the year, too!).

1. Go to a national park during Bat Week and help identify plant species that harm the places where bats live. You'll need a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, and the iNaturalist* app. You can follow the project's species guide to find the invasive plant species in your area, and the Early Detection Rapid Response team will use the data we collect to keep these dangerous plant species from taking over bats' habitat.

2. Learn about bats and spread the word. On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, follow #BatWeek and learn cool facts about bats all over the world.

3. Get inspired by bats. Draw, sculpt, paint bats as part of the #BatWeekArt project. Use your favorite medium, whether it's colored pencils or charcoal, and submit your piece with the tag #BatWeekArt. Each day during Bat Week, entries will be featured on social media.

4. Find other events near you on batweek.org.

The U.S. Department is currently celebrating the importance of bats this week. A release from the agency reminds people that these little creatures act as pollinators and natural pest control.

The University of Florida also released information about research related to the Florida bonneted bat by Holly Ober.

The Florida bonneted bat, one of the rarest species in the world, nestles in tree cavities, palms and buildings in only a few counties in the state. The largest bat in Florida with a wing span of 20 inches, its ears point forward over its eyes, and its fur ranges in color from brown to gray, said Ober, an associate professor in the department wildlife ecology and conservation who works at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy.

“The Florida bonneted bat was listed as federally endangered in 2013, and since then interest has grown considerably,” Ober said. “We don’t even know the exact geographic distribution or what type of habitat the bat occurs in. We do know this bat can only be found in South Florida.”

Ober and Robert McCleery, a professor in the department wildlife ecology and conservation, are leading several projects to investigate the bat’s ecology. The team is using acoustic surveys to hear the bat at night throughout all of South Florida, she said. “Then we are looking at where the bats roost and what they feed on,” Ober explained.

In 2014, biologists at Avon Park Air Force Range found one natural roost site, the first sighting since 1979.  Since then, Ober’s team has found two more sites: one in Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County and the other in Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County. “We are trying to find out if they roost primarily in trees or are they more likely to make their homes in manmade structures,” she said.

A second part of the project is to observe population trends, Ober said.

“Over the course of the past 50 years, researchers have seen or heard very few individual bats, so we have no idea if they are increasing or doing poorly,” she said. “To determine if population trends are increasing or decreasing, we have to individually mark the bats with a passive integrative transponder, which is injected under the skin of the bat. When the bat is recaptured, we know if it stayed in the same roost over time, moved to a new roost or if it is a brand new bat we have never before seen.”   

Ober and other scientists are also trying to develop a monitoring plan.

“There is no standard protocol for this, so we are working in Everglades National Park to compare different approaches,” she said. For example, team members are comparing the efficacy of putting an acoustic survey device on the roof of a car for three hours and driving, or putting such a device on a permanent post to survey in a single location for a much longer period of time.

Ober and other researchers are eager to learn more about the Florida Bonneted bat, which unlike other bats in Florida, gives birth many months of the year. And while many people only think about bats during Halloween, the mammals are vital to maintain ecological balance year-round, Ober said. “Bats consume a lot of insect pests. They are the most efficient predator of nocturnal insects,” she said.

While bats are fascinating, Ober cautioned that Floridians should leave the bat research to scientists.

“If you see a bat on the ground, it is either injured or ill,” she said. “Wear gloves to pick it up and take it to a county health department.  If you handle a bat, it will try to bite you in self-defense. In rare instances, bats can have rabies.”

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Rodent Solutions specializes in rodent and wildlife prevention, trapping and removal. If you have a rodent or wildlife problem, we are the company for you. It is important to use an experienced wildlife specialist to thoroughly handle your infestation. Rodent Solutions is the most highly recommended pest control company for residential and commercial properties. For more information and a PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION / ESTIMATE call us at (941) 704-0063. We service Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Parrish, Lakewood Ranch, Osprey, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Lido Key, Bird Key and all the surrounding areas.

Our trained professionals have backgrounds in construction with experience that is crucial in knowing how to effectively seal your home. We do not use poisons as a solution, which prevents any harmful consequences. We will professionally seal your property which prevents re infestation. ALL of our professional technicians are Licensed by the Department of Agriculture to perform our services and we require ALL of our technicians to pass the Commercial Wildlife Licensing Requirements. We also carry twice the amount of state required insurance. We Offer a Full One Year Guarantee Against Re-entry!

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HEALTH RISKS

Although the risk is small, the first major risk is rabies. If you suspect you have been bitten, get medical attention right away. If you are sleeping, and awake to find a bat on your skin (yes it happens) do not risk it. Have it looked at by a medical professional immediately as bites are not often felt. Bat guano carries the spores for Histoplasmosis, a disease mainly affecting the lungs of humans. The risk is much greater for those with immunity disorders, the elderly, and the very young. Bats also carry bat mites. They are often mistaken for bed bugs. Many other exterminators mistake these for bed bugs and will treat a building as such only to be called back over and over again as the presence of bats will allow new ones to take their place.

BAT FACTS

  • Bats are the only mammal that can fly
  • Because bats are small, secretive, and fly at night, people tend to think they are rare because of this. They are not.
  • Bats typically consume insects such as moths, beetles, gnats, crickets and mosquitoes.
  • The common saying “blind as a bat” is actually false. All bats can see and have very good eyesight.
  • To catch and locate prey, bats use acoustic orientation called echolocation. It is the same technique used by a dolphin to home in on fish. Bats emit a supersonic cry through their mouth or nose and locate their prey by the echoes reflected back.
  • Bats are dusk and dawn animals. They come out to feed and for water. They normally return within an hour and leave again just before dawn.
  • Bats do not attack humans. Bats swoop as they go to enter their roosting area and if a human happens to be in the way it may occur. It is not an intentional act.
  • Bats are very beneficial for the community. They help control night-flying insects. A single brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in an hour. Their guano is rich in nitrogen and is sold as fertilizer.
  • Bats are a federally protected animal with a “season” if you will much as certain fish or other select wildlife. The difference is you may not kill a bat as nearly 40% are on the endangered or threatened species list. If we lose our bat species we increase the demand for chemical pesticides, jeopardizing whole ecosystems of other animal and plant species and harming our economy.