Imagine trying to park your car only to see thousands of bats crowded up in the rafters. They swarm like a big black mass in every corner they can find.
If you go to Sunrise Mall in Corpus Christi, you won't have to imagine it. That's exactly what's happened.
While these bats aren't likely to attack they are no doubt an unsettling sight. The real danger has little to do with attack anyway. It has everything to do with guano and rabies that are a threat to the health of business owners and customers alike. Nobody's using Sunrise Mall right now, according to news sources, but not every business is lucky enough to be so deserted before bats move in.
And yes, when a colony moves in, there tend to be hundreds, even thousands of bats to contend with.
The last thing your customers want is to have to scrape bat guano off their cars! The strong ammonia smell and piles of poo in your garage aren't going to endear you to your clientele, either. Keep in mind that inhaling minute spores found in bat guano causes histoplasmosis as well, so if you've got bats you've got a serious liability problem on your hands.
There's a reason why we strap on respirators when we decide to start dealing with bats.
Why are bats attracted to parking garages?
Because they're just like caves in the wild. They're dark. They're cool. They have lots of places for bats to get into and out of. They block out the light during the day. They're full of crevices. Water even tends to pool and puddle in them after rainstorms, which means they're a good source for two things bats need: the water itself, and the insects that are attracted to the water.
Bats - An Endangered Species
Bats are an endangered species and are protected under Texas law. They may not be hunted, poisoned, killed, possessed, purchased, or sold. However, they may be moved or trapped, and that's where we come in.
Our Bat Removal Process
This is anything but a small job when dealing with a parking garage. We have to seal up every point of egress, save one. We use nets at first so we can get rid of the bats fast; later we'll get in there and seal up those little openings permanently.
We then find the main roosting point and install a valve above it. That's a one way door. Bats can get out to hunt, but they can't get back in.
Once they realize they can't get back in they fly off, and because all of the other openings are sealed they eventually disappear. It's humane and it's easy; they are perfectly capable of finding more suitable lodgings on their own.
Then you can get on with the business of hiring a commercial cleaning company to get in there after them.
It's a tough job, but it's gotta get done. Don't let bats ruin your Houston, TX business. Contact Elite Wildlife to get help today.
While the team at Elite Wildlife Services is happy to provide you with humane bat removal services, it's always nice when we can keep them out of your house in the first place. In addition, once you've paid for creature removal the last thing you want to do is see them return.
Here are a few tips for ensuring bats will want to find places other than your attic to build their next home.
Prevent Bats by Blocking Entry Points
The easiest way to prevent a bat problem is to block their access to your home. Bats can use relatively small holes to get into your space.
Start with window screens, chimney caps, and draft guards beneath attic doors. You'll also want to caulk electrical or plumbing holes. Yes, bats don't always get into the attic: sometimes they fly in through an open door or window, too!
Check out this page from Bat Conservation International to see all the surprising entry points that bats can use to get into your house.
Avoid Using Lights to Discourage Bats
Motion lights are a great security measure, as are porch lights and entry lights. We're not discouraging you from using those.
Some people try to shine huge spotlights on their attics to keep bats away though, and this is a bad idea. This is because the lights will just attract more insects. While the light may annoy the bats a little the concentrated food source will more than make up for the inconvenience.
As for the lights you have to have? Swap out white lights for yellow ones. They attract fewer insects, which means even fewer food sources.
Other Repellent Devices
Most repellents simply don't work very well. For example, expensive audio repellents don't always do a good job of keeping bats away. Scent-based repellents are more likely to upset the people who live in the home than the bats.
Fortunately, once you've closed off access to your home you should be safe. There's nothing wrong with having bats near your home as long as you don't have them in it. After all, they'll keep the mosquito population down in your yard, and they don't hurt anything so long as they're staying out of human habitats.
If you do get bats in your home, well, you know who to call. We'll help you get rid of that bat colony, and will take steps to ensure they don't come back ever again.
Bats may seem outwardly pretty harmless, so you might be tempted to leave them alone when you discover them in your attic. Yet bats are one of the most common sources of pandemic-style diseases like Covid-19.
They also carry fungal diseases like Histoplasma capsulatum, which causes histoplasmosis, a deadly lung disease. They can be an incredible danger to your family.
They even cause structural damage to your home.
They can also cause your house to smell. Bat urine and droppings will ruin your home. So will dead bats in your walls. If you suspect you have bats in the home, you should take steps to get rid of them immediately.
Signs of a Bat Infestation
Do you see bats flying around the exterior of your home at sunrise or sunset? That means that they're going out to hunt and then returning. To your house! Your attic has become their nest.
Find a dead bat on your property? There's a good chance they're nesting in your attic.
You should also take note of any unexplained smells, or the scent of ammonia.
Hearing strange noises in the walls? Squeaking sounds or scratching sounds? These, too, can be a sign of rats in the home.
Handling Bats in the Attic
There are humane ways to remove bats from your home. You want to get them out without killing any anyway, because, as mentioned, dead bats are a nasty, unsanitary, smelly hazard you don't want to deal with. They are also state and federally protected and cannot be harmed.
That means they need to be removed by a professional, and the holes they're using to get into and out of your house need to be sealed up completely. You'll also want to get a clean-up company into your attic and home to make sure all urine, feces, and dead bats are properly handled. We can certainly recommend some local Houston providers.
Bat removal is generally inexpensive but depends on the size of the colony. We'll give you a quote after examining the size of your bat problem.
Note that you can't keep bats away or drive them away with pheromones, lights, or other methods. You have to trap them, block them, and get rid of them. Most DIY methods simply aren't very effective at ending the problem, and don't accomplish more than making you feel better.
Do you have a bat problem? Elite Wildlife Services can help you manage them humanely and quickly. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Bats love to roost in high rises and parking garages across Houston. While they aren't aggressive or prone to biting, they can infect your visitors, customers, vendors, tenants, or employees with upper respiratory diseases. They can also fill wall spaces with guano, creating a smell strong enough to drive profits away. Here are some of the questions we often get about commercial bat removal in Houston.
How do you get rid of a bat colony?
When we get rid of a bat colony we do it in a humane, gentle way that allows bats to remove themselves naturally. First, we find all the areas where bats are entering your high rise, parking garage, or commercial building. We place one-way eviction valves that will not allow them to return as they leave to hunt for the night.
Once all the bats have left we seal all the potential entry points. Once they've left they will go seek out a new home. They'll look for a high structure near where they were removed.
Some of our bat removal customers have opted to add alternative housing for them. We can also consult with customers on strategies to help drive them to a new location where alternative housing is already available.
Finally, we engage in a heavy-duty clean-up process to make sure we get rid of all the guano, which can attract other pests, carry disease, and continue to smell long after the bats have gone if not treated properly.
Will bright lights keep bats away?
Bright lights can indeed be an effective deterrent against bats. They don't like bright, artificial lighting.
If you know where they like to enter and leave your building you can place bright spotlights there to shine 24/7. This could help discourage them from taking roost in the future.
Bright lights will not necessarily get rid of a colony that's already taken roost. They're just as likely to find another spot in your building that isn't all lit up. Getting them removed first ensures your bat-deterrent won't turn into little more than a frustrating drain on your power bill.
Are bats federally protected?
A few bat species are indeed federally protected, which is why identifying the species of bat is one of the first steps we have to take when we start a job for your company. The protected bats are:
- Florida Bonneted Bats
- Grey Bats
- Indiana Bats
- Ozark Big-Eared Bats
- Virginia Big-Eared Bats
- Mexican Free-tailed Bats
Of these you'll generally only find the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats here in Houston. Texas is also home to dozens of other types of bats which are not protected by federal law. Yet on this count, Texas laws are stronger than federal laws.
Texas law protects all bats. They may not be "hunted, killed, possessed, purchased, or sold." They may be "moved, trapped, or killed if inside or on a building occupied by people." It's also legal to transport bats to a laboratory for the purposes of testing for rabies.
How much does it cost to get rid of bats?
It depends on the size of your building and the size of your colony. For high rises and parking garages bat removal costs can range from $5000 and up. Yet we give every business owner in Houston their own, free estimate.
You don't have to engage in guesswork. Once we give you an estimate, we stick by it. Contact us to get started today.