Be Aware and Beware of Bats

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Suppose you are wondering whether there are bats in Southern Utah; well, there are. Out of the entire mammal population, over 20% are bats, and they are the only types of mammals that are true fliers. In Southern Utah, experts found and identified ten species of bats. The most common ones are the brown bat, hoary bat, myotis bat, pallid bat, and spotted bat.

From dusk to dawn, bats tend to come out from their retreat to hunt, feed, and drink. If by any chance, you spot one, you will know it is a bat because of the size, shape, and movement of the wings. Compared to birds, its wings are smaller, sleeker, and narrower, and it flutters quickly. Bats also dive to scoop their meal whenever they find one.

How are bats significant?

Bats play a vital role in the biodiversity, harmony, and health of the natural ecosystem. In terms of agriculture, they help farmers reduce pesticide usage in their crops; thereby, it decreases crop damage. Moreover, the bat droppings called “guano” are an excellent fertilizer. The bat droppings are high in phosphorus and nitrogen, which are very highly effective in the fertilization of plants. Even in the US Civil War, guano contributed to the making of gunpowder.

Bats are also pollinators. They can pollinate around 700 species of plants, making them more beneficial to the ecosystem. Among the plants it can pollinate are vanilla, gum plant, guava, breadfruit, banana, and agave, which is the source of, perhaps, your beloved commercial tequila. It can also help with the regrowth of forests after clearance through the dispersal of seeds.

They are also natural pest controllers as they feed on over eight metric tons of insects per night. They feast on beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, moths, stink bugs, and many more.

How come they are considered pests?

A pest poses harmful risks to your property, health, pets, and so on. Bats can be considered pests to some extent. They also tend to journey together, searching for food, drink, and hibernation dwelling.

When it comes to property, bats roost on various daytime dwellings such as attic, barns, basement, bridges, caves, mines, old buildings, rock crevices, roof, sewers, trees, and tunnels. Although they will not chew the woods or metals, their droppings and urine will certainly bring corrosive damage, wood decay, stains, and foul odor to your beloved home or building. The guano contains high uric acid levels that can wear down the brick, clay, metal, and wood structures, especially if left unchecked. It can also stain the walls, which are difficult to remove unless you repaint or replace them. The bat wastes can also yield a very putrid odor.

Remember that bats migrate and search for areas that are abundant with food and water sources. They may be attracted to a specific place because they have found an entry point for an excellent place to mate, there are many insects found, and it is dark.

Bats do not attack humans. Anyway, when it comes to your health and your pets, some bats carry diseases and parasites. Most prominent is the transmission of rabies because it can come from a bat bite or scratch. The ratio is one bat with rabies to 200 bats without it. There are few cases where rabies comes from a bat bite or scratch. Their guano also carries a soil fungus, which, when inhaled while in bat roost, can cause Histoplasmosis, a disease of the lungs.

How to clear up any bat infestation?

The bat population is dwindling to pesticides, the spread of diseases, habitat loss, and wind energy conflicts. Utah law protects all bat species. It is unlawful to kill them intentionally. Additional federal protection safeguards bat species on the Endangered Species list.

So, if you discover bats or their droppings or urines in your property, especially towards the end of summer, there may be a cauldron or colony close. The best course of action is to call a professional pest control company to deal with the bats. It is troublesome to deal with the bats on your own because the law protects them. The pros will create a one-way door so that the bats can exit your property. However, if they found out that the bats in your property mated or reproduced, they will postpone the job after the mating season, which is fall, to ensure the survivability of these creatures.

Pest control specialists will give you pointers to prevent further bat infestation. Like other pests, the best way to rid bats is to ensure they can no longer enter your home. Here are some ways you can prevent bats from taking up residence on your property.

  • Cool the roosting place of infestation with fans, so it will be uncomfortable for the bats to settle in.
  • Inspect your property for cracks, crevices, holes, and gaps where bats can enter.
  • Seal tiny passageways permanently.
  • Build a simple bat house as an alternative roost.

Indeed, there are bats in Southern Utah, and the law protects them. If you are unsure or troubled about what to do, always seek the assistance of professionals. They are more than willing to help you in resolving your conflict with the bats, at the same time protecting them.