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March: Is your house going batty? Simple steps to keep bats out of your roof.

A lot of clients have contacted us for recommendations on how to remove bats from their roofs. And so, we thought this a great opportunity to share a few things you should know about bats before trying to remove them from your property. 

# 1
Bats are truly magnificent creatures. They are extremely clever (they navigate at amazing flight speeds by echo location) and they eat hundreds of pesky pests a night, of which mosquitoes are a large part!

# 2
Bats are a protected species (our species are indigenous to South Africa), and are therefore afforded legal protection by the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA Act 10 of 2004). 

# 3
Traditionally, bats roost in caves, dead trees and other natural cavities. As a result of urbanization however, we have removed the majority of these natural roosting sites and therefore our roofs and ceilings are the next best thing. 

# 4
Bats are nocturnal, leaving their roosting sites at night to feed. Many negative myths and folklore about bats are as a result of their ‘secretive’ night-time behaviour.

And… # 5
Bats reproduce only once a year, giving birth to a single pup, twins or maybe even triplets. The pups are born in the warm summer months (November – March). 

So, what do we do with all of this information when you are planning to remove them from your roof?

First of all, what time of year is it? If you have bats in your roof, ethical prevention should only take place when bats are not hibernating and when they are not breeding. Therefore, you are good to go between September – October and again between Jan – April.

Second, you need to exclude the bats from your house. Bat exclusions are unfortunately not simple as bats can fit through gaps the size of your thumb. But if follow these steps below, you should be okay:

  1. Identify all entry and exit points into the roof
  2. Seal all entry and exit points using exclusion foam or mesh netting, except for the main entry/ exit point that you have identified. 
  3. Fit a one-way valve which allows any bats still in hiding in the roof able to get out.
  4. Once you are sure that your roof is empty (give it a few weeks), remove the one-way valve and seal the final entry/ exit point. Don’t forget to clean your roof from all the guano!

Third, you have denied them entry to their home – so where are they going to go? If you haven’t done a proper job of closing the entry points, they will be back. Thus, you need to offer them another solution. Bat boxes are a cost-effective means of attracting bats away from your roof, but still having them on your property to eat all of your pesky pests. 

  1. Install a bat box. You can make one at home or you can buy one (we would recommend the latter approach, since bat boxes are designed in a very specific manner).  

And Voila! If you follow these steps, you should have a bat free roof, an ethical feeling and a cost-free resident pest controller on your property. 

Be proactive. Be preventative. Be ethical. 

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