October is Bat Appreciation Month
Bat-proof your home to protect yourself and our winged friends.
Does the sight of a bat send shivers down your spine? Or are you thrilled knowing that a single brown bat, one the most common bat species in North America, devours 1,200 insects an hour? Hopefully, you’re in the second category.
Be a bat lover!
Bats get a bad rap. Not one of them has ever actually been found to be Dracula. And our only flying mammals eat so many insects that they’re essential to controlling the spread of mosquito-borne diseases (West Nile virus, for instance), as well as controlling crop damage. If bats were to suddenly disappear, insect populations would explode — let’s try to avoid that.
It’s tough being a bat
A few things to consider… Bats, already on the decline due to disease and loss of habitat, have just one pup a year. Not every species roosts in caves or mines. As our world has become more populous, bats have adapted to survive in cities and suburbs. Some sleep by day tucked into tree cavities, under the eaves of buildings, inside barns, churches and abandoned dwellings, and yes, occasionally inside attics and basements.
Some migrate in the fall. But in cooler parts of the country, they may look for a warm place to hibernate for the winter.
Uh oh, are they looking at your house?
Bats can follow air currents into our homes — any small opening or crack will do. They can squeeze into unprotected vents or unsealed ducts. Have your HVAC pro stop by and make sure your home is protected against intrusion. They can ensure covers for ducts, flues, vents and exhaust fans are in place.
Are they already inside?
While a bat is highly unlikely to ever bite you let alone vant to suck your blood mwah-ha-ha, their droppings are a definite health threat and should be avoided. Stop them before they have a chance to make your home theirs for the winter. But if you think bats might already be a problem, please don’t kill them. Find a safe and humane, bat-friendly professional who can safely remove the little interlopers so they can eat next year’s mosquitoes.
Pro tip: Build a bat house now so it will be ready for Spring!
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