Bats are common flying mammals that live across Texas. They belong to an order of mammals called Chiroptera, which is Latin for “hand wing”. Although people associate bats with vampires, Halloween, and rabies, bats are truly misunderstood creatures. They spend most of their waking hours feeding on insects, like nature’s own form of pest control. Bats in Dallas aren’t out for human blood or human interactions at all. They become active at dusk and sleep in hidden enclosed spaces during the day. Even if you don’t see bats, they are very prevalent throughout the Dallas, TX area.
What kinds of bats live in North Texas?
There are over 1,400 species of bats across the world with 33 species in Texas alone. The most common bats in the Dallas area are evening bats, little brown bats, and the infamous Mexican free-tailed bats.
Evening Bats are dark brown with black wings and ears, with a wingspan of 10-11 inches. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, evening bats have a very short lifespan of 2-5 years. You can find them roosting in trees, behind loose bark, attics, and barns. These small insectivores are beneficial to the environment as they eat bugs including moths, flying ants, June bugs, and Japanese beetles as they swoop through the skies around dusk.
Little Brown Bats
Little Brown Bats are about the size of your thumb, with a wingspan of about 11 inches. Its fur is brown with darker spots on its back and upper body, with lighter spots on its chest and belly. According to batrescue.org, “a single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour, and is one of the world’s longest-lived mammals for its size, with a lifespan of almost 40 years.” Little brown bats are not territorial, putting you at risk for a large number of bats gathered in a single roost.
Mexican/Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat
The Mexican (also referred to as Brazilian) Free-Tailed Bat has a 12-14 inch wingspan, with an average lifespan of 13-18 years for males and 12 years for females. They roost in tucked away spaces such as caves, attics, in hollow trees, under bridges, in abandoned buildings, and in barns. According to Bat Conservation International, Mexican free-tailed bats form colonies larger than any other bat, larger, in fact, than any warm-blooded animal in the world. You’ve probably heard of their extraordinary flight under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin and Bracken Cave near San Antonio where colonies can number over 20,000,000. You can watch the nightly spectacle of Mexican free-tailed bat flights starting in late March through early fall, where thousands fly over Lady Bird Lake.
How can I tell if I have bats?
When bats nest indoors, they find areas that are dark, undisturbed, and have easy access to the outdoors so they can feed at night. Such places include attics, lofts, and barns. According to The National Wildlife Federation, bats can withstand a temperature change of nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit without suffering any damage during their overwintering phase. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to go several years without knowing that bats are nesting because they become so secluded.
The top signs that bats are in your house are:
- Hearing small squeaking noises or scratching
- Droppings on attic insulation
- Stains on the attic walls from urine
- Your attic has a strong smell of ammonia, which is caused by excrement
- Piles of droppings in one corner of the attic or near the entry point
- Seeing live or dead bats
If you see a bat in your closet or living room, it probably got there by accident. Bats can find openings in the attic that they think lead outside, only to find themselves lost in your bedroom and unable to find their way back.
Why do I have bats?
Bats are nocturnal mammals that rest in holes in trees, under bridges, in attics and ceilings of barns and buildings, and in caves. If they find an opening to enter spaces within your attic, they’ll begin roosting. When an entry point continues to exist, bats will stay. The best way to get rid of bats is to call a professional pest control company to remove bats and seal the area to prevent them from reentering.
Are bats dangerous?
If you find yourself dealing with bats living in your attic or barn, it’s only normal to feel stressed and anxious. The good thing is that bats do not want to encounter humans. In fact, they choose protected spaces to remain safe against both inclement weather and organisms that they see as threats. This includes humans.
Bats become hazardous when they choose to live in your home due to the droppings and urine they consistently create. Not only are the conditions unsanitary, but it can begin emanating an unpleasant scent that can waft down below your attic and into your living spaces. If you see a bat in your closet or living room, it probably got there by accident. Bats can find openings in the attic that they think lead outside, only to find themselves lost in your bedroom and unable to find their way back.
Did you know that most bats do not carry rabies? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one or two human rabies cases happen each year in the United States. If you find bats on your property or in your attic, call Certified right away. Even though the chances of contracting rabies from bats are incredibly small, as a general precaution, we don’t recommend that you handle bats.
Are bats protected in Texas?
According to Texas state law regarding nongame animals, bats are not allowed to be hunted, killed, possessed, purchased or sold, dead or alive. However, officials such as pest control professionals can remove a bat inside or on a building occupied by people. For this reason, you should always call Certified when you find bats in your attic or barn.
How can I get rid of bats?
If you search online for ways to get rid of bats on your own, you’ll find a lot of DIY tactics and methods that involve “natural” remedies like essential oils or ultrasonic sound waves. Unfortunately, there is no research to support these claims. Unless an entry point is sealed, bats will continue to be drawn in year after year. Think of it this way. If you have a broken window and a birds keep flying in, would you use essential oils or ultrasonic sound wave machines to fix the problem or would you just repair the window? The same is to be said for bat roosting indoors. Trying to fix the problem on your own can be expensive and time consuming, while never yielding results.
How does Certified get rid of bats?
Our bat control and removal program utilizes a variety of techniques and tools to eliminate bat roosting. We’ll evaluate your particular problem and then provide options and recommendations for effective control within your budget. We use only modern control methods that safely discourage bats from entering premises where they’re not quite so welcome (or that could even do them harm). Our methods offer safe means of removal and humane, environmentally friendly ways of deterring bats from making their home in unwanted places. This enables safe capture and release into a more welcoming environment, and can also be used as a deterrent or to block entry points.
To learn more about our bat control program, give Certified Termite and Pest Control a call at 972-373-3983 or fill out the form on this page.