Bat Removal in Harrisburg PA

bat removal harrisburg pa

Bat Removal in Harrisburg, PA

Typical bat removal in Harrisburg, PA involves Big Brown Bats or Little Brown Bats. Both species are prevalent in Pennsylvania. However, their populations have dwindled due to white-nose syndrome.

White-Nose Syndrome is a fungus that attacks bats during hibernation periods. The disease is fatal for bats but luckily does not affect humans. Comparatively, bats are common carriers of rabies and histoplasmosis, which are both fatal to humans if untreated.

The percentage of bats carrying rabies in low, but local bats have tested positive before. Rabies is transmitted through a scratch or bite from a bat.

Moreover, histoplasmosis is a fungus contained in bat droppings (guano). During cleanup, it becomes airborne. We recommend that an experienced technician handle clean-up to avoid any transmission.

Our removal process

First, your home is inspected to identify their entry points. Bats squeeze through spaces that are the size of a quarter! This is why exclusion is an important part of our process.

During our inspection, we find their primary entrances. We will then install one-way doors which allow bats inside your home to exit, but not return.

Our experienced technicians check chimneys, rooflines, all types of ventilation, fascia, soffit, and various types of siding. We understand all building components and are able to repair and replace elements throughout our process.

Exclusion

Our exclusion process for bats can be somewhat restricted depending on the breeding seasons. Some exclusion work on secondary entrance points is performed, however; primary entrances are left open until the babies can fly. During the warmer months, the doors must remain in place until late August. If later than that, the doors would remain in place until May when they wake from hibernation.

Our Clean-Up Process

Once our exclusion process is completed, we begin the clean-up process. Proper clean up includes special vacuums and PPE that prevents the spread of diseases.

Schedule your inspection for bat removal in Harrisburg, Pa and surrounding areas with Backyard Wildlife Solutions by calling us or using our contact form. Backyard Wildlife Solutions offers bat removal, bat exclusions, and bat control in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, York, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and surrounding areas in Pa.

 

Bats Inside the Living Space in Mount Joy, Pa

bat with open mouth

Last fall, we received a call from an Elizabethtown landlord. However, their property is located in Mount Joy. Multiple tenants reported bats inside their homes! They noted bats were in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

Bats are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a bat flying around your bedroom! It is very unsettling especially if they continue to return. Because they are the most common carrier of rabies; bat removal needs to be handled with extreme caution.

A complete external entry inspection of the home was performed. Ultimately, we found multiple entry points. The old chimney provided easy access as well as dormers on the roof. From those points, the bats entered the attic of the building.

The Removal Process

When bats become comfortable with your home, they return on a regular basis. They enter through small spaces, so we make sure to identify all entry points.

We were contracted to do a complete sealing and exclusion of the building. After we removed existing bats using one-way doors, we sealed the entry points and completed other minor exclusion work. This ensures the apartments will remain bat free in the future!

In addition, bat droppings (guano) can contain contaminants that should be handled by an animal removal professional using PPE. Histoplasmosis is also present in their droppings.

If you have issues with bats or other animals inside your home, don’t hesitate to call us or use our contact form!

Bat Houses

Bat House

Over the years, we’ve received a fair share of questions about bat houses. The most common ones are “Will adding a bat house draw them out of the house?” or “Can you seal the home and install a bat house to keep them around?”

Most of the time, the houses are ineffective. This can be due to a variety of factors from location to temperature. We’ll highlight why bat houses aren’t a solution for bat exclusion.

What are they supposed to do?

The main theory of a bat house is to keep them from entering your home or structure. It’s thought to provide a small space for bats to comfortably reside with nearby food and water source. Bats then take care of insect pests like mosquitos.

Why bats rarely use bat houses

More than likely, the house is incorrectly constructed. On the other hand, it could be constructed perfectly and placed in an unfavorable location.

Sugarloaf Bat Tower
Front view of Sugarloaf Bat Tower

A perfect example is Sugarloaf Bat Tower in the Florida Keys. A very large bat house was constructed for mosquito control. Over the course of 80 years, not a single bat lived in the tower.

When given the option, bats will most likely choose an attic over a bat house. They want to live in a home or structure that is warm, dry, and safe. This is why exclusion is the most important part of preventing bats from entering your home. Bats can easily squeeze into any space the size of a quarter, and make your attic their new home. Any potential entry points near a bat house will most likely be exploited.

The downsides of active bat houses

Most recommendations for placing a house state that attaching it to your home is more attractive, rather than mounting it onto a post or in a tree. Home-mounted ones are most successful due to the warmth homes produce. However, this is also attracting them to your home and enticing them to search for entry points.

Moreover, bats are common carriers for rabies. If you have children or live in a neighborhood with children, the risk of someone being bitten is higher. In addition, guano (bat droppings) can contain histoplasmosis which is fatal to humans.

While we don’t recommend placing bat houses on your property unless your home is sealed by a professional, The National Wildlife Federation outlines a step-by-step process for constructing one.

Types of Bats in Pennsylvania

Bat Hanging From Tree

There are a few different types of bats in Pennsylvania; if you see a bat it is most likely a little brown bat or big brown bat. Bats are protected and heavily control bug populations near their roosting sites.

Bats are also common carriers of rabies, and great care must be taken throughout the removal and repair process.

About Little Brown Bats

Little Brown Bats are the most common bats in PA. Their fur is golden, red, or olive-brown featuring a darker face while their feet and wing membranes are black.

They prefer to create their nests, or roosts, in buildings, trees, woodpiles, caves, or manmade structures.

However, their populations are dwindling due to white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome is a fungus that attacks bats during hibernation periods. The disease is fatal for bats but it does not affect humans.

About Big Brown Bats

Big brown bags have brown glossy fur. Their wing membranes, face, and feet are dark brown to black. They are much larger than little brown bats, their wingspan stretches up to 13 inches!

Big brown bats can migrate hundreds of miles, and their larger size allows them to hibernate in lower temperatures compared to other Northern American bat species.

Big brown bats hibernate in similar conditions as the little brown bats.

Hibernation

Bats enter torpor, or hibernation when their body temperature is able to drop to near freezing. A bat’s heart rate drops from 200-300 beats per minute to 10 beats per minute. Moreover, they can even go for a few minutes without taking a breath.

In torpor, bats’ energy consumption is reduced by 98%; this allows them to remain in torpor for a few hours or even up to a month in winter. If bats wake up or are disturbed often, they burn through the fat they have stored for the winter before springtime.

Bat Removal

With new developments and construction, bats may be forced out of their homes. However, they reintegrate themselves back into the new environment, making your home their new home.

Additionally, the most common signs of bags in your home are chirping or rustling sounds. As nocturnal animals, these noises likely occur in the evening, late at night, or early in the morning. They also leave grease-stained appearances on components near their entry points.

As mentioned before, bats are protected and there are restrictions with the timing of removal. Depending on what season it is, we can place one-way doors along with sealing secondary entry points, which ensures bats can leave, but not return.

During the summer, we cannot place one-way doors until the young are large enough to fly if a maternal colony is present. We can seal secondary entry points, but primary entry points must remain open.

Repair and Remediation

In addition to sealing entry points, we also offer other methods of exclusion. Chimney caps, custom screening, and vent covers are all preventative services we offer for bats and other animals.

We also offer cleanup of bat droppings (guano). Guano is hazardous due to the potential presence of histoplasmosis, we use HEPA filtered vacuums and PPE to prevent transmission.

Give us a call or use our contact form for the removal and repair of different types of bats in Pennsylvania!

Hibernation Habits

squirrel in snow by tree trunk

As we progress into the colder months, it’s important to be aware of animals to look out for. Some animals will be entering hibernation and searching for warmer spots to migrate to. On the other hand, some animals do not hibernate at all.

We’ll go over common animals we see in the winter, their hibernation habits, and signs to watch out for.

Opossums

To start off, opossums do not hibernate due to their low body fat content, but they do search for warm shelter. This includes venturing indoors into your attic, chimney, or crawlspace.

Opossums move around a lot throughout the winter to avoid predators. A male opossum, fitted with a tracking device, visited over 19 different dens in 5 months according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bats

Bats such as little brown bats and big brown bats can hibernate for more than 6 months waiting for the return of insects. They prefer caves, mines, rock crevices, attics, and chimneys. However, bats do not stay asleep the whole time. A common sign of bats in your attic includes noise or rustling. If an area gets too cold, they’ll move to a warmer area or vice versa.

Moles

While it may appear that moles have disappeared from your property, they have only burrowed further below the frozen surface. Their molehills may not be present, but as the ground thaws in the spring the mounds will reappear.

Raccoons

Similar to the opossum, raccoons do not hibernate but search for warm dens. However, in extreme temperatures, they can sleep up to a month. Although they are usually solitary creatures, some will den in groups during the coldest days of the winter.

Squirrels

During the warmer months, squirrels gather and stash their food for the winter season because they do not enter hibernation sleep. Throughout the day, they are active outside. However, they do stay in their nests during extreme weather conditions. If you hear rustling coming from your attic during the day, squirrels may be nested in your attic.

Groundhogs

Groundhogs are one of the few critters we deal with that do hibernate from the first frost until April. The first frost usually happens between October and November, they then retreat to their burrows. The colder weather triggers a hormone that helps them sleep for the duration of winter.

Removal and Preventative Services

While winter is a less active season for animals, it is the perfect opportunity to have your home inspected and sealed prior to their reappearance in springtime. Chimney capsvent guards, and custom screening protect their most common entry points.

If you believe animals have made their way into your home for the winter, give us a call or use our contact form for removal and remediation!