Bat removal is one of our most popular services here in Augusta, especially during the hot summer months when they're busy eating mosquitoes and fattening themselves up.
We do get bat calls year-round, however. The summer is just when people are most likely to notice the bats flying around. When we get bat calls in the winter, it's usually because someone goes up into their attic for the first time in quite a spell and finds that they've acquired new, non-paying tenants since the last time they'd been up there.
No matter when you find them, however, it's important to get bats out of your home. Don't misunderstand: Bats are overwhelmingly beneficial animals. Without them, we'd be overwhelmed by even more mosquitoes than we currently have to swat away. So in the big scheme of things, bats are our friends. Many of our customers even put up bat houses for them so they have a place to go when we evict them, which we think is a real nice gesture.
Bats in a home, however, present a serious health risk. They generate huge amounts of guano (poop) and urine, they can cause odor problems, their bat bugs and other parasites carry diseases, and an estimated five to ten percent of bats have rabies. Their guano can also harbor mycotic diseases like histoplasmosis. So as much as we admire bats for their tireless mosquito-control work, if you have bats in your home, you need them gone.
Because they're such messy animals, it's also necessary to remove their guano and cart it away, sanitize the attic, treat for bat bugs and other parasites if they're found, and sometimes replace the insulation if it's been contaminated with bat poop and pee. No worries, though. We can do all that work for you. It's all in a day's work for us. (Please note that guano removal and insulation replacement, if needed, are quoted separately from bat removal and exclusion.)
We've mentioned bat bugs a few times. They're one of the more important parasites associated with bats. They're almost identical to bed bugs. The easiest way to tell them apart is that bat bugs' dorsal thoracic hairs are longer than those of bed bugs. When you have to start measuring the hairs on a bug's body, that tells you that they're pretty similar. Moreover, bat bugs can in fact migrate downstairs and feed on humans if they get hungry enough after we've removed the bats. We're not their favorite food, but if they have to, they'll cope.
Like their cousins the bed bugs, bat bugs aren't known to carry any diseases. But they surely can create an annoyance. Like bed bugs, their tiny size, secretive habits, and prolific reproductive capabilities enable them to thoroughly infest a home in a very short time. Once that happens, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. That's another good reason to take care of a bat problem promptly.
Bats and Rabies
Jus in case the smell, the disease-causing organisms in their guano, and their parasites weren't enough reason to wants bats out of your home, bats have a fairly-high rate of rabies. It's usually not an issue because bats and humans rarely come into direct contact. But because rabies in humans or domestic animals is incurable once symptoms start to show, you really don't want to take too many chances. Rabies is a miserable way to die.
Most experts believe that between five and ten percent of bats have rabies. Some say a little lower, others say a little higher. Whatever the exact numbers, however, it's a risk you can't afford. Once you know that bats are living in your home, you need them gone.
The risk of rabies is also a good reason not to attempt to do your own bat removal. In any bat population, it's almost certain that some of the bats are rabid. You really don't want to be up there getting them all upset and flying around. Leave that to the professionals. It's what we do.
There are at least 16 species of bats known to live in Georgia. But two species -- the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) -- account for nearly all the bat work that we do. The other species seldom infest homes or other human-occupied buildings.
All bats belong to the scientific order Chiroptera, which means "winged hand," and which pretty accurately describes the structure of a bat's forelimb. The "arm" part is very short, but the "hand" part has very long "fingers" attached to each other by skin that forms a wing that is highly effective at high speeds, and allows bats very fine control of their flight.
Bats are not blind. They actually have pretty good vision. But they do seem to rely more on their sonar and their hearing in general than their vision when they're flying. They also are the only mammals capable of true flight, meaning that they can take off, gain altitude, maintain sustained flight, and complete and complex maneuvers in the air. The other "flying" mammals, the flying squirrels, aren't even in the same league as bats. Flying squirrels can glide and maneuver somewhat, but they can't gain altitude or do aerobatics like bats can.
There is no such thing. It is absolutely illegal and irresponsible to exterminate bats. They're very beneficial animals and legally can be controlled only by removal and exclusion. It's estimated that a single bat can eat between 600 and 1000 mosquitoes and other insects every night. That alone is enough reason to love them. It's also a reason to treat them with respect, and both federal and state wildlife conservation laws make it illegal to control them using poisons. So if someone tells you that they're a "bat exterminator," what they're telling you is that they're a criminal.
At Rid-A-Critter, we control bats using only non-lethal removal and exclusion methods. How we remove the bats depends on the situation, but very often we'll partially screen them out by leaving a small opening through which they can get out, but not back in. There are also various one-way doors that we can use if needed. Whatever the case, once they're out, we seal up all the openings so they can't get back in. When they return, they typically fly around for a while trying to get back inside, give up, and find someplace else to live.
Our bat-control service also includes tidying up after the bats. We shovel and vacuum up their guano and haul it away for proper disposal, and sanitize and treat for parasites as needed. Optionally, we can also replace the contaminated insulation, which is often necessary in severe bat infestation cases both for health reasons and to remove odors. We use only the finest, state-of-the-art insulation that we install using our own technicians and company-owned installation equipment. (Please note that guano removal and insulation replacement, if needed, are quoted separately from bat removal and exclusion.)
Here are a few pictures of some of the many bat control and bat-proofing jobs we've done in and around Augusta, Georgia.
Bat removal at an apartment building in Lincolnton
Homeless bats after being sealed out of a house
Bat guano in the attic of a house
Construction gap let bats into attic in Augusta
Dean and Jason bat-proofing a large hospital
Augusta bat removal and exclusion job
Bat removal from a big building
Annoyed bat sealed out of an attic in Augusta
Bats in a gable causing paint to peel in Hephzibah
Bats huddled in an attic during a bat removal job
Bat removal and bat-proofing in Augusta
A dead bat found in an attic on a bat-removal job
Bat entry point into a home in Martinez
Bat cleanup at a school in Thomson
Engorged bat bug feeding on a bat
Bat control job at a commercial building
Close-up of a bat removed from attic of a house
Cameron holding a bat he removed from a house
Bat entry gap into the attic of a house in Augusta
Droppings and rub marks are signs of a bat problem
Bat guano in the attic of a house in Augusta
Back-To-School Bat-proofing job
Bat removed from a house in Augusta
Bats in the attic in a home in Augusta
Bat entry point into a house in Augusta
Bat entry behind clapboards of an Augusta home
Please contact us for help with bats or any animal problem in the Augusta area. We look forward to hearing from you.