Bats can be fascinating creatures that might even be cute under certain circumstances and to the right people. Of course, bats, like most wild animals, are best observed outside and in their natural habitat. No matter how much you like these critters, having them in your home is generally unacceptable. In fact, bats in your home can be a serious problem and a potential health risk.
Attics are a common location for bats to nest because they provide an environment similar to their natural habit. Like other pests, these animals are looking for a safe and warm environment, which your attic can likely provide. Unfortunately, ignoring these infestations can have real consequences. If you think you may have bats in your attic, here are three reasons to treat the situation as an emergency.
1. They Can Travel Silently
If you have an easily accessible attic, it's important to treat any pest infestation as an emergency. Bats and other critters can often squeeze through fairly tight spaces, so an attic door rarely provides sufficient protection to keep them from entering your home. While bats most likely want to remain in your attic, they may find their way downstairs by accident or while hunting for food.
However, even an inaccessible attic can still be problematic. Bats can chew and gnaw, and they may eventually find a way to enter your living spaces. Unfortunately, since bats often operate at night and can fly very silently, you may not even realize if they enter bedrooms or other areas. These silent invasions can pose real health risks without you ever realizing that there's a problem.
2. They Will Create New Entry Points
Like mice and rats, bats will tend to gnaw on various materials in their environment. If bats live in your attic, you can expect them to gnaw on insulation and wood framing, potentially causing severe damage. They won't typically intentionally target wiring or plumbing, but they may damage these items accidentally while gnawing on nearby materials.
Most importantly, bats will gnaw to create more accessible entry points for their nests. If bats are entering your attic through a vent or other narrow opening, there's a chance they'll gnaw on these areas to create larger entrances. These larger openings may allow more bats or other pests, such as squirrels, an opportunity to enter your attic.
3. They Pose a Serious Health Hazard
Among the critters that commonly infest homes, bats are among the most dangerous for your health. This situation can be ironic since bats generally don't attack humans or mean any harm. However, bats can carry several dangerous or deadly diseases, including rabies. Brief contact, even if the bat isn't intentionally attacking you, can spread these pathogens to you or your family.
Bat droppings (commonly referred to as guano) are another health hazard. Bats can quickly fill an attic with droppings, allowing airborne pathogens to enter your home or travel through your HVAC system. These health threats alone are a good reason to treat any bat infestation as an emergency and to call a professional for quick and thorough bat removal.