What do bats look like?
In Maine, there are two types of bats that commonly roost inside of homes, the little brown bat and the big brown bat.
Little Brown Bat
The little brown bat has a body length of about 2-4 inches and a wingspan of approximately 8-11 inches. Their back is dark brown to light golden brown and their belly has lighter gray fur. Their wing membranes are dark brown. They have rounded ears, large hind feet, and a small nose.
Big Brown Bat
As the big brown bats name suggests they are a bit larger than the little brown bat. Their body is about 4-5 inches in length and they have a wingspan of 12-16 inches. Their fur is longer and silky chocolate brown. Their wing membranes are black. They have rounded ears, and their nose is larger and broader compared to the little brown bat.
Where do bats roost and nest?
Bats are nocturnal creatures and like to roost and create their nesting areas in dark quiet places. When outside, bats can be found living in places like caves, rock crevices, and hollow trees. Homes and other buildings can also provide dark quiet spaces for bats to roost and nest in. Tucked away in places like attics, chimneys, underneath of soffit overhangs, in crawl spaces, and in any spaces behind walls.
Are bats dangerous?
Bats are an important part of the eco-system, they help to control nuisance insect populations by feeding on them, and some species are responsible for pollinating a wide variety of plants. However, when living in and near homes they can pose some danger. Their droppings contain fungi that if inhaled can cause a lung infection known as histoplasmosis. They can also introduce bat mites and bat bugs have been known to bite people. Although it is a small percentage, bats are also known carriers of rabies which can be transmitted through the saliva or body tissues of an infected bat. If a person ever comes into contact with a bat it is important to seek guidance from a medical professional.
Signs of a bat infestation
If bats have invaded a home or business they will leave behind several signs of their presence. You will hear noises behind the walls or above the ceilings. You may notice black stains on and around the areas that they are using to come in and out of the structure. Bat droppings are also a sure sign of bats when you find them inside. These tell-tale droppings are segmented and full of insect parts. And the most obvious sign is actually seeing bats flying near or from your dwelling around dusk. They may also be flying around inside.
If bats have become a problem, it is important to contact a trained bat control professional. Bats are federally protected and cannot be killed. The Maine bat control experts at Pine State Pest Solutions will provide safe (for both you and the bats) and effective solutions for bat infestations.
Bat prevention tips
The best way to prevent a bat problem is to make sure that these pests cannot get inside. That means sealing of any potential entry point paying close attention to the roofline. You may consider setting up a bat house to draw them away from your dwelling. Also because bats feed on beetles, moths, and mosquitoes as well as other bugs, make sure your property is as insect free as possible.