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Humane Bat Removal in the Athens-Clarke County Area

The Importance of Bat Control

Bat guano on the roof of a house

Bat guano on the roof of a house

Bat removal is one of our most important and most popular services. Bats are very common in the Athens, Georgia area, and when they get into homes and other buildings, they have to be removed.

Most of our bat-removal work occurs during the summer, when bats are most active; but we get bat calls in the winter, too, especially during warm spells.

Whatever the time of year, however, bat control is very important.

Although the fear of bats that many people have is unfounded -- they're actually overwhelmingly beneficial animals who never deliberately attack people except in self-defense -- bats in a home present a serious health risk and need to be removed and excluded. Over time, they can generate huge amounts of guano (poop) and urine, they can cause odor problems, their parasites can vector diseases, and they have a fairly high incidence of rabies.

It's also necessary to clean up after the bats to remove their guano and displaced parasites, and sometimes to replace contaminated insulation to remove odors and pathogens. Contaminated insulation can't be cleaned. It has to be replaced. (Please note that guano removal and insulation replacement, if needed, are quoted separately from bat removal and exclusion.)

Bat Bugs

Close-up of a bat bug

Bat bugs are almost identical to bed bugs

Among the parasites commonly carried by bats, one is somewhat unique. It's called a "bat bug," fittingly enough, and it's pretty much indistinguishable from a bed bug. The two insects are so hard to tell apart that even professional entomologists have to take a very close look.

In fact, the biggest difference between bat bugs and bed bugs is that bat bugs prefer bat blood to human blood. But they prefer human blood to dying of starvation; so once we remove the bats, the bat bugs will look for other hosts -- like you and your family, the people living in the house.

Although bat bugs are not known to carry diseases, they sure can create an annoyance once they get into your home's living spaces. Once they get established in your home, bat bugs can be every bit as difficult to control as their bed bug cousins. That's another good reason to take bat problems seriously, as are the other parasites that they carry like fleas, ticks, and mites.

Bats and Rabies

In addition to the disease-causing organisms in their guano and carried by their parasites, bats themselves have a fairly-high rate of rabies. By the time symptoms of rabies in humans or other animals begin to manifest, the disease is no longer curable, and the infected person or animal is doomed to a very unpleasant death.

Between five and ten percent of bats are estimated to be infected with rabies. Nonetheless, the risk of directly catching rabies from a bat is very low because bats and people rarely come in contact with each other in the course of their normal activities. Once bats are living in your home, however, the risk of contact obviously increases, and the bats must be removed.

The risk of rabies is another reason why you really shouldn't try to do your own bat control. Given the infection rates, it's a virtual certainty that some of the bats in any large colony (including the one in your attic) are infected, so the last thing you want to do is go getting them all agitated and flying around inside the attic. Call us instead. We're professionals. It's what we do.

Speaking of which: In addition to being important, bat control is also very challenging. Bats have very small bodies and can squeeze through tiny openings to get into a home. Bat-proofing a house or building requires exquisite attention to detail, as well as all kinds of specialized equipment and tools. It's also hazardous work both because of the disease organisms and because of the necessity to work up high, where the bats are. It's really not a DIY-sort of job.

Bat Biology

Of the 16 species of bats that we know make their homes in Georgia, two of them, the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus), are the ones we most commonly encounter in the field as the bats most likely to set up housekeeping in human-occupied buildings.

Bats collectively comprise an entire taxonomically order. They belong to the order Chiroptera, which literally means "winged hand," and that's a pretty apt description of a bat's front limbs. They look like a stubby arm with a massive hand and very long fingers, with webs extending between the digits. These wings give bats remarkable flight abilities. Guided by both their sonar and their vision (bats are not blind), bats are able to fly with impressive speed and great precision, and to perform remarkable maneuvers.

Their flying ability sets bats apart as the only mammals who can truly fly, meaning that they can take off, gain altitude, maintain sustained flight, and maneuver in the air. Flying squirrels, the only other mammals who can fly at all, don't even come close to bats' flying prowess. Flying squirrels really just glide, although with impressive accuracy. Bats can truly fly.

Why There's No Such Thing as a Bat Exterminator

Bats in the wild are very beneficial animals. They survive mainly on insects and find mosquitoes to be especially delicious. In fact. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that a single bat can consume between 600 and 1000 insects every night. That's a lot of mosquitoes. Multiply that by the number of bats in a typical colony, and it becomes clear that bats perform a profoundly important public health service. The mosquitoes that they eat present a far greater health risk than do the bats themselves.

Because bats are overwhelmingly beneficial, the species that like to move into our attics are protected under both federal and state wildlife conservation laws. That means that they're not considered "pests" that can be killed at will. They're considered "nuisance animals," and they get treated with a lot more respect. Unlike "pests," the law requires that bat control be performed using methods that don't harm the bats.

That's why if someone tells you that they're a "bat exterminator," what they're really telling you is that they're a criminal. It's illegal to control bats by killing them, and anyone who deliberately sets poison or traps to kill bats is likely to wind up in jail some day. Not only that, but a homeowner who knowingly hires such a person to solve their bat problem by killing the bats may very well wind up sharing a cell with their "bat exterminator."

Non-Toxic Bat Removal and Exclusion

At Rid-A-Critter, we never use poisons to control bats. We control them using exclusion, or "bat-proofing," which means that sealing you house or building to keep the bats out. Exactly how we do this depends on the type and size of building, but the general idea is always the same: We seal the bats out so that after they get done dining on insects during their nightly flights, they can't get back into the building.

This surely annoys the bats. We suspect that many bat cuss words are hurled our way by the bats that we evict. But being seald out of a house doesn't harm them. They'll fly around for a while and try all the ways they know of to get back in; but eventually they'll give up and find some other place to live. It might represent a lifestyle change for them if their new digs aren't as comfy as your attic, but the bats will be okay. They're very resilient.

Bat-proofing a building can take several days depending on the building's size and how many opening there are to seal. We can't rush this kind of precise work. If we miss a single hole, the bats will find it; so we approach every bat exclusion job methodically, with a great deal of precision. It's really very meticulous work.

We can also clean up after the bats, including hauling away their guano, which can amount to hundreds of pounds of poop in a house with a long-standing bat problem. If needed, we can also replace the contaminated insulation. This is important for both health reasons and odor control. In many cases, you'll also save on energy because the modern, high-quality insulation that we install is much more efficient than what was available just a decade or two ago. (Please note that guano removal and insulation replacement, if needed, are quoted separately from bat removal and exclusion.)

Because of their small size, bats are among the most difficult of all animals to exclude from a building. The flip side of this, however, is that when we seal your home against bats, you're also getting protection against gray squirrels, flying squirrels, rats, birds, and all sorts of other critters who tend to take a liking to attics. They're all bigger than bats, so bat-proofing your house will keep these other animals out, as well.

Bat Control Gallery

Here are a few pictures of some of the many bat control and bat-proofing jobs we've done in the Athens, Georgia area.

Please contact us for help with bats or any animal problem. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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We have a crew of technicians removing a colony of bats from the attic of a house in Athens, Georgia and bat-proofing the house.
by Webmaster
May 28, 2020 09:37:57 am.

News: CDC Warns that COVID-19 Lockdowns are Making Rats and Mice More Desperate
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:43:37 am.

This Was the Bat Entry Gap into the Attic of a House in Mansfield, Georgia
by Webmaster
May 19, 2020 10:40:31 am.

A team of technicians from out Athens office is on their way to seal bats out of the attic of a stone house in Bogart.
by Webmaster
May 15, 2020 10:40:16 am.

We sent an inspector out to check out a bat problem in the attic of a house in Athens, Georgia.
by Webmaster
May 04, 2020 10:25:15 am.

We have a crew sealing up gaps in the roof to keep bats out of the attic of a house in Athens, Georgia.
by Webmaster
May 04, 2020 10:20:28 am.

One of our inspectors is headed out to Athens, Georgia to figure out how bats are getting into the attic of a house
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:09:38 am.

Video of Justin Sealing Rats and Mice Out of a Loading Dock
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:02:16 am.

A bat-removal team from our Athens, Georgia office is sealing bats out of the attic of a house in Jefferson.
by Webmaster
Apr 17, 2020 10:39:10 am.

We're doing bat removal from the attic of a house in Athens, Georgia and sealing the roof to keep them out.
by Webmaster
Apr 08, 2020 10:11:00 am.

Noises in your attic? We can help in certain case we can seal and remove animals from your home with no personal contact.
by Dean Scott
Apr 02, 2020 11:16:28 am.

A crew from out Macon office will be removing the bats from the attic of a house in Lexington, Georgia.
by Webmaster
Apr 02, 2020 10:09:01 am.

Our Athens, Georgia office has a crew out in Athens sealing bats out of the attic of a house today.
by Webmaster
Mar 30, 2020 12:15:15 pm.

From our family to yours we wish you good health and safety. During this uncertain time related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to assure you as a approved business for essential Services. Rid-A-Critter remains open. Thanks
by Jason Arruda
Mar 27, 2020 03:07:31 pm.

We're out in Monticello, Georgia today sealing up a house to keep bats out of the attic.
by Webmaster
Mar 27, 2020 10:44:04 am.

A crew from our Athens, Georgia office is removing bats from the attic of a house in Winder and sealing them out so they can't get back in.
by Webmaster
Mar 23, 2020 11:09:30 am.

Chris's crew is sealing bats out of the attic of a house in Bishop, Georgia today.
by Webmaster
Mar 18, 2020 10:50:14 am.

Today we're sealing bats out of the attic of a house in Auburn, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 18, 2020 10:42:14 am.

A Bit of Bat Guano in the Attic of a House in Watkinsville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:46:29 am.

Here's Dan Humanely Removing Animals from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:05:57 am.

This Video Shows How to Humanely Remove an Animal from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 09:57:33 am.

Challenging Bat-Removal Job at an Old House
by Webmaster
Mar 06, 2020 09:12:32 am.

This Gap in the Soffit Panel Allowed Bats into a House in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 03, 2020 11:35:15 am.

Just enjoying this Georgia weather this weekend. At my parents house fishing and noticed the wildlife out here where they belong. They can become a nuisance though when they find their way inside your home. In that case give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 01, 2020 12:24:17 pm.

Well it’s North Ga today. Seeing clients in Buford, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 27, 2020 11:30:35 am.

This Sloppy Flashing Allowed Bats into the Attic of a House in Hoschton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 27, 2020 10:42:06 am.

Here's How Bats Got into the Attic of a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 25, 2020 10:33:37 am.

This Construction Gap Allowed Bats into this House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 19, 2020 10:39:55 am.

Clear Evidence of Bats in the Attic of a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 13, 2020 10:32:11 am.

Rainy days mean animals like to stay in. If you are hearing noises in your attic on this rainy day it could be more than rain.
by Dean Scott
Feb 13, 2020 09:27:56 am.

This was How Bats Got into this House in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 31, 2020 10:04:09 am.

Going to Bainbridge Ga today for quotes for exclusions. Bats, rats and gray squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 23, 2020 11:05:03 am.

The Athens, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides bat removal and bat-proofing in Athens-Clarke, Greene, and parts of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, Banks, Jackson, and Oconee Counties in Georgia, including Athens, Auburn, Bogart, Commerce, Good Hope, Greensboro, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Watkinsville, and Winder. Your town not listed? Contact us.

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