I composed this bat post for a pest control magazine, concerning the removal of bats from buildings and roofs. I am a bat removal specialist with over ten years and many hundred bat removal tasks under my belt. I use an assortment of bat exclusion devices, from netting to funnels, but the sort of device does not matter, provided that it is installed properly. I don't urge the general public to perform bat removal work. It is honestly far too complex, and a lot can go wrong if you do not have plenty of experience. Personally, I coached for 2 years with a specialist before I tried any of my own bat management tasks solo, and even then I still had a lot to learn!
Bat Exclusions - Do not be Scared to Work in the Dark!
Wildlife control is a special profession - anybody who does this job knows that! Part of the duty of a professional pest control operator is your willingness to work strange hours. Wild animals do not maintain a Monday - Friday 9-5 program, and neither should you. What if a snake enters a home at midnight? Imagine if a raccoon is caught in a trap on a Sunday? These issues have to be addressed, both for the interest of the client, and the welfare of the creature. When you sign on for this job, you accept the fact that you are not working regular hours.
With that in mind, I've got some advice regarding bat exclusions. I strongly recommend working at night. They emerge from their daytime roost at night, they return to the roost several times every night, and they retire in their nightly foraging just before sunrise. I've discovered through several years and many hundred bat exclusion jobs the jobs go far better if performed after sunset, for many reasons.
First of all, all of us know that bats can fit through tiny gaps: as little as 3/8 of an inch. It is often very hard, during a daytime review, to identify all the possible bat entry/exit gaps, particularly on particular kinds of architecture. If you do a night watch, you will often be very surprised by a few of the regions where you’ll see bats emerging. In actuality, some bats will alter their entry/exit holes as the season progresses. If you inspect during the day, you are going to identify some regions as bat holes, by the brown staining, droppings, and odor, but it is possible that the bats are not currently using that hole in any respect. They might have moved to another section of the building. And if you do not get the exit hole you've got a major problem on your hands once you put up your excluders. Just a night watch can truly verify how the bats are acting.
I understand this is an absolute fact. It's often tough to get a real good look in the tiny gaps bats can use. But at night, using a headlamp pointing straight at the building, you find all types of architectural features in considerably more detail than throughout the day. You just have to try this out for yourself, and you will see right away - it is a massive advantage.
Third of all, bats are often apprehensive about departing via your exclusion device. Whether you use pliers, cones, or some other one-way exclusion substance or apparatus, the bats will understand that something is awry, and balk at leaving. Sure, if you place it correctly, they will eventually leave, but I have seen problems. Occasionally they are stubborn. Occasionally your exclusion device did not work as planned. If you do the job at night, you will see any issues that happen, and you may properly address them. Heck, it may be something as straightforward as a bat getting a wing stuck in the netting, and obstructing the other bats. If you are on the job at night, you are able to address these issues.
It is also easier on the bats. The majority fly from the building . Yes, typically, some stay behind, and a few bats return to the roost fairly quickly after leaving, drinking some water, and catching some insect dinner. However, I prefer to isolate their principal exit hole(s), make them fly out of the building obviously, then, after most are out, I set up the exception apparatus for the few remaining bats inside. It might appear unnecessary to do it this way, but I think that it ensures a clean exit of the majority of the bats, as opposed to forcing them through the exclusion device.
Additionally, much bat work is completed in the summertime, and it is a great deal cooler working through the night! Coming from Florida, I really love that.
Needless to say, ladder safety is always a problem, so I take more care at night. I've found that with good precaution and headlamp lighting, it is no more challenging to work at night than during the day.
In the end, pest control, including bat management, is an unpredictable field with several variables. You may believe you understand it all when it comes to bat control, but you'll find yourself amazed again and again; by bat behaviour, and the factors that include different building architectures. If you do the work at night, you learn a great deal more about how the bats really behave than if you attempt to perform daytime bat work. I strongly suggest trying it at least once - you may find yourself, like I did, doing the majority of your bat exclusions after the sun has gone down.