Though it will be different based on each situation, average costs for dealing with a bat colony in a home ranges from $400 to over $9000 for very large or extensive infestations. Commercially, these costs can run even higher based on several factors such as the height of structures and accessibility. Bat removal can be tedious because it takes attention to detail to make sure every possible entry is sealed before the main entry areas have one-way valves installed to remove the animals and prevent them from entering a new spot. The clean-up portion can be equally challenging when it requires the removal of building materials to access the guano hidden where the bats resided.
Aside from the heavy smell left over from a bat colony guano itself can be harmful to humans and animals if left in a structure. Bats can carry histoplasmosis and it is transmitted in the lungs via spores after the guano is disturbed in some manner, typically through clean-up or even walking through it in an attic. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection affecting the respiratory system and can be fatal. If the guano can be accessed or removed through a demolition process, it is recommended that it is removed or at least chemically treated.
Guano is another term for bat excrement. It is similar in shape and size of mouse droppings and can be easily confused. Guano is easy to determine with a flashlight or other lighting means. If you crush it with a gloved hand and shine a light on the material left and it sparkles it is most likely guano. This is due to the exoskeletons of the insects that bats feed on nightly. Guano also has a smell often described as pungent, acrid or musty. It is often referred to as a smell that one will not forget.
Yes! Bats are protected by federal and state laws because they are deemed environmentally important. One bat can consume up to 1200 mosquito sized bugs in one hour. That’s almost 10,000 bugs a night. It is estimated that some of the largest colonies of these bats consume 250 tons of insects nightly! Although they are a great benefit to our environment, they are a nuisance when they enter our structures. Use only a licensed professional if you suspect a problem!
Although there are 11 species of bats that either reside or migrate through Houston, most bats that people will encounter in their Houston home or property are Mexican Free-Tailed bats. As the name suggests, they migrate back to Mexico to ride out winter in caves. However, if they find a suitable temperature/environment in one of our man-made structures they may not migrate and instead reside in Houston year-round.