There are more than 980 species of bats in the world! Of these, 6% live in South Africa.
Bats are extremely sensitive creatures and so they are a great indicator of biodiversity. They are very important pollinators of flowers, dispersers of seeds and they consume large numbers of insects (including the irritating mosquito) every day.
Human habitat expansion has forced bats to look for alternative roosts in which to live and raise their young. Often, this place is the roofs of our homes. As they are living things, they leave smelly droppings and tend to make lots of noise- becoming somewhat of a pest in residential homes.
The term BAT EXCLUSION has become an important one in the Integrated Pest Management industry. Bat Exclusion is the process of evicting bats from a home/ residential dwelling without killing or harming them. It is not as simple as waiting for the bat to fly out at night and closing off all entry points into the roof because (dependent on the bat season, i.e. hibernation or pupping) there is a major risk of trapping bats inside the roof and causing them to die.
If you suspect that you may have bats in your roof, please contact a professional to assist you with bat exclusions and NOT bat control with poison.
There are many factors that the professional must investigate before attempting an exclusion. Some factors include:
- What bat species is it?
- What time of year is it? (Is it their breeding/ pupping/ hibernating time)?
- What are the weather conditions for the next while (bats might not leave the roof in the rain)?
- How many entry points are there?
Unfortunately, many people are afraid of bats and have negative opinions of them due to old myths and folklore passed down by generations.
Sadly, today many bat species are critically endangered and face a high risk of extinction in the wild!
Because bats play such an important part in our natural world, we need to give them a chance to survive and perhaps one day thrive in the wild once again.