I’d like to talk today about bats. A lot of misconceptions going around with how to get rid of bats out of your house. I just want to try to clear some of them up and clarify things, so you have a little bit better experience than what’s possible.
First off when bats leave at night, you can not just run out and seal the hole. It does not work. You need to have a valve or exclusion system put in place that’s up for up for a minimum of 5 to 10 days. Now you say, “Wow, five to ten days,” well the reason for that is is because the weather sometimes. You have to kind of start the clock over and make sure you get them all out because when they get cold, bats go into something called torper, it’s kind of like hibernation, and they don’t fly out, they kind of rest up and sleep. You don’t want to be doing bat exclusions when the temperatures are falling below 50 degrees, because it’s a waiting game. You got to wait until the temperatures come up. We like to give it five good days after the temperature is up, and then remove the valve or exclusion process and seal up the entry points.
Second thing is foam, I don’t even know where to start with foam. Foam has got to be the worst possible thing when it comes to wildlife control. Not only do they chew through it, they eat it, it obstructs their intestines and bowels and causes wildlife to die. It seems like every homeowner I go to has tried to fix something, they used foam. Stay away from the foam people. Spray foam, great stuff, stuff like that, it’s insulation. It’s used for filling gaps and cracks and weather tightness and so on and so forth. It’s not made to keep rodents out. It’ll keep insects out, but it’s not made to keep rodents out.
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Another thing I want to discuss is the timing of doing bats, from April 15th to August 15th I believe, is a maternal season, you are not allowed to exclude bats during this time. Why? Because they’re having babies, and they’re flightless, and they can’t do nothing. The babies can’t fly out. So you exclude the parents out, the mother bats, the maternal colony, you exclude them out and you got a bunch of baby bats in there, which have one bat per bat. Have one baby per bat, and they die and they drop down into crevices and walls and stuff and what we like to call the ooey, gooey syndrome because it’s nasty. I’ve seen $100,000 worth of damage to some condos because some gentleman that were on the board thought they knew more than the professionals, and it wasn’t covered under their insurance because they got a quote from a professional. They decided not to go on that route and do it themselves, and you know the insurance actually called us as an expert witness against the condo association. Because we went out, we told them what we needed to do, and they basically got cheap.
Bad things can happen. You have to replace drywall, studs, because bat ooey gooey seeps everywhere. Places you didn’t even know existed. In that case it seeped down from the top floor to the first floor. From the second to the first floor. It contaminated two, two condos. Actually many, but two as in top and bottom level. So don’t do that. If you don’t know what you’re doing, let the professionals do it like myself. It’s just much cheaper in the long run.
Bats, two different types that we have here is free-tail and the evening primarily. You see more free-tails as opposed to evening bats. Seems to be they’re much more prevalent in the Bradenton and Sarasota area. We find a few evenings up in Tampa, Brandon, Valrico area. For the most part we deal with a lot of free-tails. Types of things to use to exclude. They’re several products on the market, but you got to use the right ones and you got to know how to use them. It’s not something you can read a couple things on the internet and be like, “Whoop, I’m a bat expert.” It doesn’t work that way.
The other thing is there’s another great, great point and I will definitely do a podcast on this in the future, people reading stuff and becoming experts off the internet. It’s all well and great, but for the most part they’re reading information that is not conducive to Florida conditions. We have litters of raccoons 12 months out of the year in Florida. There’s a frost line that goes right about Brooksville across, and we have different species south of that, than they have north of that. Like they have flyers, we don’t have flyers. We have iguanas, they really don’t have iguanas. I’ve dealt with one flyer issue in 20 years south of Tampa. They don’t exist down here. What are some other things they have? Pocket gophers. You can go up through [inaudible 00:06:25] and you’ll see packet gopher mounds all over the place. You’re not going to see them here. It’s just in the conditions are not right for those species to be south of that line.
If you notice on the radar, morning weather shows on TV and stuff, you’re going to notice that. Bristol and that area gets colder than the Tampa Bay region a lot of times. It’s weird but that’s the way it is.
Back to the bats. Another thing is bat houses. People are like, “What if I put a bat house up, will they go to the bat house?” No they won’t. Not usually. They’re not going to leave your house to go there probably, very seldom does that happen. What happens is you’re giving more bats an area to come to. So you have the bats in your house, they’re each having one baby, and when that colony is getting too big, they need someplace else to go, okay there’s a bat house there. Bat houses are great, don’t get me wrong. I think that bat houses, if they’re manned properly, are one of the best ecosystem things out there. They kill thousands of mosquitoes which we all know carry the Zika virus and other things. I’m not downing bat houses, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not going to suck the bats out of your house to the bat house.
Second thing is biggest mistake people put up. People put up a bat house. They say, “I put this thing up and it’s been up here for years and I haven’t got any bats in there.” Well let me tell you a little trick. Get you some bat guano and rub on the inside of that bat house, with a pair of gloves obviously. Scent that bat house up. You’ll be surprised. Bats will start coming to that bat house because they smell the guano. That’s one of the things that attracts them to areas is other bats and guano. If they smell the guano, they figure it’s safe, and poof, they start using the bat house.
Bats are amazing. Most people will say they’re flying and getting in my hair. Normally when people get hit by a bat it’s because it’s avoiding another bat in flight, or the bats have collided and one them has come down and landed on you. That’s normally what happens. They’ll come close, but hey, their echo location is good. Its real good. I think it rivals some of the military stuff at times. Their echo location is some of the best out there. People are like, “Oh, they’re swooshing.” It’s really not. You’re putting out CO2, bugs are being attracted to you, and the bats are being attracted to the bugs, think about that.
Here’s another biggie and I want to take a minute to touch on it because a lot of people don’t understand. We come to a call that’s got bats in the house. Where you actually have free flying bats inside the house. Well I’ll be honest with you. If it’s been a child or an elderly person in that bedroom the bat was found in or seen in, or in that house I would go, I would suggest catching the bat by a professional, and having that professional get with the local health department and have it tested. Because from what the health department is telling me, they’re treating it like an exposure, because bat bites are so small. They’re not real noticeable at times. If you get a bat in your house, I would probably go through the system and let them get the bat tested and find out what’s going on. If it’s got rabies, then decisions got to be made about post exposure shots. That’s a big thing though. People die of rabies. It’s not a joke. The levels in bats are very high.
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Another thing I want to talk about is some of the pest control companies and wildlife companies out there scaring the living crap out of the homeowner with a term called histoplasmosis. Is it a concern, yes. Is it in your house, probably not. There’s not been one documented case of histoplasmosis in Florida coming from a house. Now I’ve heard of it up north in these old farm houses where they’ve just been there for years. I’ve heard of it in caves and stuff and different parts of the region, like Texas and stuff, but where there’s just millions of bats in there. But as far I now, and as far as what FWC is publishing, there’s never been a case of histoplasmosis from a residence. Them trying to sell all the miracle spray and stuff, it’s odor control guys. It’s not histo.
I have a friend that’s an eye doctor, let me back up a bit, histo comes in two forms. It comes in a respiratory form and an ocular form. Basically you can get in your lungs or you can get it in your eyes. Ocular histoplasmosis is more common than you think. I have a friend that’s an eye doctor and we discussed this one day and he says he sees it, but he mostly sees it from people up north. Ocular histo, I don’t know if FWC’s statement of no histo has been found in houses that’s been confirmed to transmission to humans is only respiratory, because that’s the worst kind or if it’s ocular too. Probably I’ll talk to the doctor over there at FWC and find that out. There is two different kinds. Ocular histoplasmosis and the type respiratory that you get in your lungs. Two things to be concerned with.
I went to a guys house two days ago, had rats in his attic, roof rats, and a company come out there and says that we won’t do the exclusion trapping unless you spray your house. Get sort of a pheromones, it kills all the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and I’ll be honest, I don’t even think this company that’s putting it out there has got a license to be claiming it kills anything. Because there’s two types of licenses in Florida and again, that will be another podcast, but unless you have a pest control license, you can’t be claiming to kill stuff like that. Bacteria’s, and raccoon roundworm, things like that, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. If you’re not licensed for it and allow it. We have customers that want it because they’ve heard so much about it and we sell it for pennies compared to the other companies. This company told this guy, “If you don’t do this spray, we’re not going to do your exclusion.” I’ll be honest with you, I sold this job for about $900 to a two story house excluded it all out and everything. The other company wanted $675 alone to spray it. $675, blows my mind.
Each person has their own way of selling and stuff and I get it, but do your research people. Don’t do it off wildlife trapper out of Texas or something. Go to universities, go to, like with bats, Bat Conservation International is a great source of facts and resources for bats there. Go to your state DNR. The CDC, these are people with trusted information. Again, I’ll talk about that in that podcast. We talked about getting misinformation off the internet. But for that, that pretty much sums it up. Get a bat in the house, treat it like it bit someone, get it tested. If you got bats in your house and you’re not sure how to deal with it, don’t risk it. Trust me, it’s a whole lot more expensive on the back end to do it yourself, guarantee it. Have any question or concerns, our website is wildlifetrapper.com and our phone number is 1-866-263-WILD. Again it’s 866-263-9453, have a great day.