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A Bat In The House, Help!

Many years ago, I (Mike Sweeney, owner of Sweeney’s Pest Elimination) had a full work-day scheduled in Ithaca, New York, when I received a call on my bag phone (that will give you a clue on the era this happened), from a prominent customer. We’ll call her Lynn. Lynn had been a consistent customer for years, and on this specific day, she called in a complete panic begging me to come to her home immediately. Very calmly, I asked her what the problem was. She proceeds to tell me that she was in her bathroom when she looked down and saw a bat in the garbage can. She said she screamed and bolted out of the bathroom.

Therefore, according to her, I MUST come now! I gently tell her I am in Ithaca for the day and am booked solid. I just can't. She insists and says she will cover my losses for the missed work. So, like any sane businessman, I say “Uh yep, on my way.” Upon arriving at her house, I punch in the security code and walk in the door without a greeting, as she has locked herself in her bedroom, refusing to come out until the bat is removed. 

Heading to the bathroom, I open the door, bite gloves on (thick gloves designed to help prevent bat saliva or bat scratches, which can make the exterminator susceptible to being infected with rabies during removal), and am ready to grab the bat.

I look in the garage can. Ugh.

I head down the hall and say, "Lynn, can you come here?" She timidly comes out and asked, “Did you get it?" I asked her to follow me, and together, we head to the bathroom, where I tell her to look into the garbage can. She nervously inches forward and looks down… A very apologetic expression comes over her face. She looks at me and says, "What do I owe you, full price?" She cuts me a check while shaking her head and saying, “Don't tell my husband!" Later that day, when Lynn told her husband, he and I got a good chuckle over the day’s drama…

And I proceeded to Ithaca with the largest check I have ever gotten for a dried-up banana peel!

Are Bats Dangerous

The media portrays bats as something that is spooky and should be feared. Bats are helpful to our environment (pollinators, pest control, and distributor of seeds), and most bats do not pose a danger to our families. A small percentage of bats can be carriers for a viral infectious disease called rabies. The CDC states ( ) that bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in the United States. 

How To Know If A Bat Has Rabies

If a bat is seen at a time (during the day) or in a spot where it should not be (on your lawn, or in your residence), there is a good chance that the bat is sick. The only way to know for certain whether a bat has rabies is by having it sent and confirmed at a laboratory.

What To Do With A Bat In Your Home

If you find yourself with a bat in your home, call Sweeney’s Pest Elimination! Do not touch the bat with your bare hands because they can bite you and could be a carrier of rabies.

Although not all bats carry rabies, it is impossible to know for certain until the bat is tested, so do not take the risk. Call the professionals! We will not only take care of the incident safely but can help analyze the extent of the problem and determine the best way to eliminate the problem as permanently as possible. 

Bats can be helpful to our environment but do not need to be housed in your home and around your family.

How Do You Know If Bats Are In Your Home

One of the easiest ways to know if your home has bats is to look in your attic, porch ceilings, or chimneys to see if there are bat droppings. Bat droppings are typically found near their roost (the place where a bat finds shelter). Bat droppings can be mistaken for mice droppings, as both are dark and shaped like a grain of rice.

How To Know The Difference Between Bat Droppings And Mice Droppings

The appearance of bat and mouse droppings is almost identical. The best way to distinguish which pest has taken up residence in your home is to squish the dropping between two fingers (maybe put on gloves first?). If the droppings squish between your fingers, then it is a bat. If the rice-shaped grain remains together, then you have a mouse on your hands.

Either pest is a job for Sweeney’s Pest Elimination. Call 1-855-3-BUG-GUYS to have the job done right!

Maybe You Have Identified Droppings, But No Siting Of Bats

If you see evidence of bat droppings but have not seen any bats, be aware that at some point those bats may find themselves in your living spaces. Preventative services can help keep your family safe and your space free of bats. Sweeney’s Pest Elimination can give you a thorough inspection, an honest evaluation, and the course of treatment (only, if it is necessary.) Call today to schedule your inspection or prevention services at 1-855-3-BUG-GUYS.

Does One Bat In the House Mean There Are More

Typically, where there is one there is more! But this is not always the case. Call Sweeney's Pest Elimination for an inspection, and they can help you determine if it was a fluke or the tip of the iceberg!

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