About Bats

How can I remove bats out of my house or property?

Did you know bats are illegal to exterminate in the state of Florida? Bats live in dark areas where there is access to moisture.  Building structures with overhang roofs in tropical areas are prime for bat habitation.  But bats cannot be killed from these residential or commercial properties so they must be removed safely.  But what happens if you have find a bat between April 15 and August 15? Sure you may want to call up a bat removal expert but these specialists will tell you that because of bat maternity the bats cannot be removed until August 16.  Well, what do you do until then? By contacting Friends of Bats we can instruct you on next steps to help you a bat infestation on your property.

How do you know they are bats and not birds or rodents?  Well if you smell ammonia and hear high pitch type noises, then you most likely have an infestation of bats on your property.

Bat Extermination is not the Answer to Potential Bat Problems

Bat Behavior and Potential Bat Problems- notice: Bat Extermination is not the answer!

The bats present in the state of Florida are predominantly Mexican/Brazilian Free-tail bats [Tadarida brasiliensis], often living together with smaller numbers of Evening Bats [Nycticeius humeralis]). These animals are extremely social and tend to roost in large colonies (up to 20,000 or more). They live for 30-35 years and each female typically has one offspring per year (occasionally they have twins). They are very territorial and babies born on a site tend to consider it their “home”. As a result, they are persistent in their attempts to return. Typically, we find that bats excluded from a particular building on a complex or from a particular area of a building will simply relocate to the nearest convenient aperture or structure in the vicinity.

It should be understood that bats are generally extremely shy, docile mammals. They do not carry many diseases and they do not generally fly into people’s hair or make unprovoked attacks. They are extremely beneficial to the environment. In the northern hemisphere they make-up 25% of the mammal population and in the southern hemisphere, this increases to 50%. In Florida, the micrchiroptera that make up the bat population consume billions of insects (including mosquitoes) every evening. Each bat will eat 2-3,000 insects per night (this is why they are protected by state law). While it is true that bats

can carry and transmit rabies, this risk is recognized as being limited (see below). That said, large colonies of Free-tail bats (and others) can and do cause problems for people when they co-exist in the same places. The smell from the excrement and urine and the subsequent staining on buildings and structures is a concern. The build-up of waste products in voids can be excessive with the attendant odor and possible health risks, the most serious of these being histoplasmosis (see below). Bat urine is very corrosive and can eventually cause damage to the waterproof membrane beneath the tile, shake or metal roof covering, where they often make their roosts.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease, from the histoplasma capsulatum fungus that is associated with bat guano (feces) deposits. Once inhaled, it grows in the lungs and can ultimately lead to a chronic respiratory condition.

Rabies can be contracted as a result of contact between infected saliva or nervous tissues and the mucous membranes found in the eyes, nose and mouth. It can also enter the body through open wounds. However, it is almost always transmitted by a bite from the infected animal. Although a minute number of cases of airborne infection have been

reported as having occurred in cave environments, none have been recorded as having occurred in man-made structures. Only a very small percentage of the bat population is thought to carry the disease.

Health Hazards Caused by Bat Infestations

Unlike birds, bats carry very few disease agents that can be passed on to people.

Bat Behavior

There are some 18 species of bat considered to be permanent Florida residents. All but 1 of these species are microchiroptera (micro bats).

Bat Maternity Season

Because of their protected status, once the female bats are ready to give birth (they give birth just once a year), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission institutes a moratorium on disturbing them during this time.

Physical Damages from Bat Infestations

The primary cause for requesting an exclusion is because of staining on buildings, the build-up of significant guano deposits (droppings) and the odor emanating from such deposits, as well as from the urine and the bats themselves.

Florida Laws

In Florida, all species of bats are protected from being harmed. This is primarily because of their great importance to the balance of our ecosystem and their unmatched contribution to managing the mosquito population. This legislation applies year round.

However, because bats can also pose some potentially serious health risk to people when they take up residence in buildings, expert companies such as Friends Of Bats are permitted to perform humane exclusions during much of the year. The methodologies employed ensure that the animals leave the premises safely and our guarantee ensures that they can’t return.