Every season brings its own blessings and challenges. And as Maryland wildlife control experts, we observe seasonality with nuisance wildlife as well. Different animals are active during different times of year and even the same animal can cause different sorts of trouble depending on the season. Here are a few examples of Maryland wildlife you should keep an eye out for this summer.
Bats typically migrate between their summer roosts and winter hibernation sports. However, your attic is a perfect home for them year round, so they may not be inclined to leave in the fall. And that’s when you know you have a problem. Bats in small numbers don’t cause much damage, but if the colony remains in one place and keeps growing, you are looking at thousands of dollars in repairs after a few years. Bats have their pups in spring, and in summer these pups start to fly and hunt on their own. It’s easy to spot bats in summer—just come out after the sun goes down and monitor your roof line. If you have bats, you will see them coming out from the same spot (or several spots).
Raccoons Under the Deck
Raccoons are well known for overwintering in Maryland attics, but in summer an attic may actually get too hot for them. So you are likely to find raccoons denning under your deck, porch or shed. If it’s a mother-raccoon, it will likely have a few kits with her that will be weaned off mid-summer. Summer is the time for raccoons to consume food while it’s in abundance and get fat enough to survive the winter. In search of food, raccoons may rummage through your trash cans, dig up your flower beds and even steal bird seed and cat food stored in unsecured areas. Needless to say, a raccoon on your property can be a nuisance!
Snakes in the Yard
In summer, snakes often come out to bask in the sun. You may even spot a snake out in the open, especially if it’s a black rat snake that contrasts with the grass. Other snakes, like the venomous copperhead, are a bit more camouflaged and harder to see. Even when bitten, some people don’t immediately realize they’ve had an encounter with a snake. Maryland snakes are in general not aggressive, but because in summer we spend a lot of time outdoors, you may unknowingly wander into their territory and get attacked. Some snakes are good climbers and can even get on your roof and siding, making for a scary sight. If you spot a snake in or near your home, don’t kill it. Snakes are beneficial for rodent control and our Maryland snake removal experts can safely remove and relocate them.
Groundhog on Your Property
If you live in the country and have a fairly large yard, you’ve probably seen groundhogs around. Should you worry? In most cases, groundhogs and humans can coexist peacefully, but on occasion this animal becomes a pest. Groundhogs can gnaw on wood, damage fruit trees, destroy vegetable gardens and undermine structures like decks and sheds through their extensive digging. All of this happens during summer, because that’s when groundhogs are most active. If you are experiencing any of the above issues, contact us for groundhog removal in Maryland. Simply burying their holes or using repellents won’t work—this animal has to be captured and relocated if you want the problem gone for good. Get in touch with Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control today if any of the above nuisance wildlife keep interrupting your summer fun!
With all due respect for everything bats do for the environment and ecosystem, they are not the best neighbors. When a colony of bats moves into your attic, they can cause thousands of dollars in property damage, as well as expose you to potentially deadly diseases, such as rabies and histoplasmosis. But you can’t simply ask them to leave. And just the thought of entering an attic where dozens (maybe even hundreds) of bats hang upside down is somewhat nerve-wrecking. As Maryland bat removal experts, we get a lot of calls about bat problems in Edgewater, Glen Burnie, Annapolis and many other areas. We don’t recommend homeowners tackling bat problems on their own, simply due to the associated health risks. But if you want to know how we do it, here is a brief overview of how to get rid of bats in your attic.
The Concept of Bat Exclusion
It would be nice if you could put up an eviction notice in your attic and wait till the bats comply. But we have the next best thing that is called bat exclusion. The idea behind bat exclusion is to let the bats leave the attic on their own but prevent them from returning. This is achieved by installing one-way devices, such as mesh netting and bat valves, on the entry and exit points used by bats (typically gable vents and holes along the roof line.)
Why Bat Exclusion is Our Preferred Method
- It works every time
- It allows to get rid of the bats without hurting them
- It’s humane, effective and fast
It’s important to know that not all bats will leave at the same time. Some of them will fly out at night to hunt, while others, especially the younger generation, may stay in. For this reason, we avoid conducting bat exclusion during the times of year when bats have flightless young with them. They are helpless and will die by themselves if they are separated from the mother.
Bat-Proofing Your Attic
After a few nights, the majority of the bats should be gone from your attic. We always check to make sure every single bat is removed before sealing their entrance holes. Bats are small and can’t apply much force to make their own holes, but thanks to their size, they usually find plenty of opportunities to enter your attic through tiny gaps. To make sure the bats don’t return to your attic, our Maryland bat exclusion pros take care to identify and seal all current and potential gaps and holes, including but not limited to:
- Gaps around window and door frames
- Corners formed by siding
- Flashing around the chimney and plumbing vents
- Fascia boards and drip edge
After everything is sealed, our cleanup division can start removing bat droppings, damaged insulation and other contaminated items from your attic. This is one of the reasons Maryland homeowners choose Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control because, trust us, you don’t want to clean up this mess yourself!
As we mentioned in the beginning of the article, bats are actually beneficial to have around, especially if you live near a body of water and have an insect problem. If you want to coexist with bats peacefully without allowing them to invade your attic, you could install bat houses on your property. There is no guarantee bats will use them, but this will give the evicted bats somewhere to go to instead of trying to enter your attic again or moving into your neighbor’s attic. Do you have any further questions about bat exclusion or want us to remove bats from your attic? Give our Maryland bat removal technicians a call today to get your bat problem solved!
Anne Arundel County, Maryland, has hundreds of waterways running through populated communities like Annapolis, Pasadena and Severna Park. Most of the insect species that bats prefer to feed on need a body of water to reproduce and survive. With a plentiful food source, the only other environmental factor a bat needs to survive is a safe place to roost. Naturally, bats roost in tree cavities, caves and rock cliffs. However, over time bats have learned that man-made structures such as attics, walls, and chimneys offer great protection from harsh weather and predators. Bats are great to have around in your community as free pest control. But when bats are roosting in your attic they can cause damage to your home and put your health at risk.
Bats and Rabies
Bats are known to roost in secluded areas of man-made structures, including attics and walls of residential homes. They usually don’t enter your living space in order to avoid encounters with humans or other animal that may harm them. Most bats that find their way into the living space (bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc.) are usually juveniles that are confused or lost. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 10% of all bats found in the living space of a home test positive for rabies.
How Bats Transfer Rabies
Rabies can be deadly if not taken seriously and treated immediately. There was a fairly recent case when a woman got bitten by a bat and subsequently died of rabies. She was woken up at night by a flying bat, and when she found the bat hanging on the curtains, she opened the window and shook the bat off. A few months later the woman became ill and went to a local hospital with symptoms of heart disease. She was sent to see a cardiologist who then realized she did not have a heart problem but she did, in fact, have rabies. Unfortunately, it was too late for the treatment. Bats have very small sharp teeth, and in most bat bite cases the bite appears as two small needle-like scratches or punctures. In most cases, a bite from a bat reportedly feels like two needle-like jabs. However, several people that have died from rabies didn’t even know they had been bitten by a bat and were most likely bitten while they were sleeping. During the autopsy, a bat bite was found on some and no bite at all was found on others, even though they tested positive for the strain of rabies carried by bats. Most of the people who were bitten by a bat while sleeping and didn’t feel the bite were elderly, young children or people who took sleep aids and were most likely in a deep sleep when the bite happened. While camping in his parents’ back yard, this teenage boy was bitten by a Big Brown Bat on the arm. The image of the bat bite in the photo above has been magnified, so that you can clearly see the puncture wounds from the bat’s teeth. This woman was bitten by a Big Brown Bat on her finger when she captured and removed the bat from her living room. Note how the bite is barely visible.
The Anne Arundel County Health Department urges anyone who has had contact with a bat to seek medical attention immediately. If a young child has picked a sick or injured bat off the ground, that child should be taken to a local emergency room. If you are woken in the night by a bat flying around in your bedroom, it is assumed that you have had potential exposure to rabies and you should get medical attention. In any case, if a human has been bitten or is suspected of having contact with a bat, the bat must be contained and then you should call the Anne Arundel County Animal Control and Health Department so the bat can be tested for rabies.
Bats Carry Bat Bugs and Bedbugs
Bedbugs and bat bugs are so similar in appearance, even Anne Arundel County’s best pest control professionals and exterminators would need a magnifying glass to be able to tell them apart. Thousands of years ago when mankind and bats shared caves together, the bat bug and bedbug were the same species. However, as mankind left the caves, the bugs that went with the humans evolved into bedbugs feeding on humans and other mammals. The bugs that stayed behind evolved to feed on bats and became the bat bug. Bat bugs will also feed on humans and other mammals if bats are absent, but they predominately feed on bats and most often leave with the bats. If a bat or a colony of bats roosts in a home that is infested with bedbugs, it is very possible for the bed bugs to feed on bats as well. Bedbugs will also hitch a ride on a bat to spread between households. The control methods for bedbugs and bat bugs are very different. Bedbug control requires all infested areas to be treated at the same time. If any bed bugs or their eggs remain in the home, then the infestation will start all over again. Bat bugs are controlled by having an Anne Arundel County bat removal company properly evict the bats that are roosting in your home. After the bats are gone, any remaining bat bugs usually die off in the attic or walls. However, immediately after the bats are evicted, existing bat bugs may migrate through the home in search of a new host to feed on. The homeowner in this video pulled a shutter off of the exterior wall and discovered that bats were roosting behind it. The dark pile on the step is bat droppings (guano) with hundreds of bat bugs crawling through it and all over the wall.
Infectious Lung Disease
Histoplasmosis is a lung disease found in humans that is caused by breathing in airborne fungal spores. The fungal spores form in bat guano (droppings) and bird droppings when they are in soil or have decayed over a long period of time. The fungal spores attach to dust particles and become airborne, especially when disturbed. People who do bat guano or bird dropping cleanup work should always wear proper protection to avoid histoplasmosis. In the past Ten years, Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control has encountered 3 customers who died from histoplasmosis due to living too long with bat guano in the attic and walls of their homes. Two were in Maryland and one was in Southern Pennsylvania. If bats are roosting in your attic or walls, it’s important to have bats evicted from your home as soon as possible to avoid costly bat guano cleanup, attic insulation replacement and possible health risk. If you suspect that you may have bats roosting in you Anne Arundel County home, sit outside in the evening (be sure to have someone watching on all sides of the home at the same time) to see if any bats are coming out around your roof line. If you see bats coming out of your home, contact your Anne Arundel County bat control company at 443-417-3137 to inspect your home and review the bat eviction process with you.
If you have bats roosting in your attic or inside your walls, you are always at risk of a bat flying into your home by accident. Our Maryland bat removal specialists had to come out on numerous occasions to capture and remove nuisance bats in Anne Arundel County and many other households throughout Maryland. If you ever have a close encounter with a bat, be sure to follow these tips on how to handle it.
Why Bats Can Be Dangerous
We have covered this extensively in one of our previous articles, but here is what you need to know: bats can carry rabies. And rabies can be a deadly disease if not treated immediately. Not all bats carry rabies, and of those that do not all are likely to transmit it. However, if a bat flies into your bedroom in the middle of the day, there is a good chance it is disoriented and is infected with rabies. An infected bat can bite a human, even though local Maryland bats primarily feed on insects. The majority of bites happen overnight when people are too tired to notice the pain or tend to dismiss it as something else. Your pets are also in danger if they haven’t received their rabies shots.
If You Encounter a Bat Inside Your Home
If you wake up in the morning or come home from work and find a bat in your home, follow these steps:
- Avoid your initial instinct to let the bat out. If it’s captured, it can be tested for rabies. If it’s released, you will have to undergo a precautionary rabies treatment even if you weren’t bitten.
- If a bat is in a location where you can easily catch it, simply cover it with a cardboard box. Be sure to wear gloves if you need to come close to it.
- If a bat is flying around, isolate it in an enclosed room and call your local Maryland wildlife control technicians to remove the bat and send it for testing.
- Get your home inspected and bat-proofed to make sure more bats aren’t roosting in your attic.
If You’re Bitten by a Bat
Don’t dismiss any unusual pains or bruises, as they can be a sign of a bat bite. Bats have tiny teeth, so their bites don’t leave that big of an impression. They look like two tiny puncture wounds next to each other. They don’t bleed much, but may appear red, and even bruised. If you find a bat in a room with a young child, be sure to examine the child carefully in case a contact has occurred. If you notice a bat bite, wash it off with soap and water, and then take the above steps to isolate the bat and get it removed. If no bat is found, seek medical attention right away. You may have to go through a 30-day injection course against rabies to be on the safe side.
Bat-Proofing Your Home
Bats entered your home because they found an easy passage. This can be anything from an unscreened window to a missing chimney cap. Bats don’t need that much space to get in—about a quarter of an inch is generally enough. Check and close off (with caulking or screens) the following areas:
- Gable vents
- Roof overhangs
- Fascia boards and cornices
- Gaps underneath the doors
- Flashing around chimneys and vent pipes
- Crawl spaces
Be absolutely sure that all bats are gone before sealing any of the above openings. The last thing you want is to trap the poor animals inside your attic with no way out. This may lead to death by starvation, a stinky mess and an extensive cleanup. Contact us today if you need help evicting bats from your property. Our Maryland bat control specialists are just a phone call away!
Bats are great to have around your community because they are nature’s pest control. However, if you have bats living in the attic or walls, then your health can be at risk. Many people are OK with bats roosting in the attic until they smell the bat urine and feces that’s accumulating in the attic or until a bat gets into the living space possibly exposing you and your family to rabies. When bats roost in attics and wall cavities, they sometimes find their way into the main living area of a home. Some bats get into the living space of the home through gaps as small as 3/8 of an inch around the attic access panel or door. They also enter gaps around air conditioning ventilation duct work in attics. If bats get into the wall cavities in the attic, they may accidentally find their way down to the basement through the walls. If the basement has an unfinished ceiling or walls, then the bats can get out into the living space of the home.
The Rabies Risk
During the first week of June 2015, our Anne Arundel County bat removal professionals were overwhelmed with calls from Glen Burnie, Maryland homeowners who were woken in the night by bats flying around in their homes. Many residents had to get rabies shot as a precaution because they opened a window and released the bats. Other home owners who received our assistance avoided the rabies shot because our technicians were able to capture the bats and they were tested for rabies by The Anne Arundel County Health Department. To learn more about bats and rabies visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Airborne Fungal Spores
Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in fungus spores found in bat droppings. Histoplasmosis is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne. Soil, insulation, and other materials that are often contaminated with bat droppings also can contain histoplasmosis. People who reside in a building or home that has a bat infestation, as well as farmers and landscapers are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Most people with histoplasmosis never develop symptoms and aren’t aware they’re infected. However, histoplasmosis can be serious and even deadly for some people including infants and people that already have lung or breathing problems.
Damage Caused by Bat Urine and Feces
Bat urine and feces (guano) can cause a lot of damage to a home. Bat urine and feces will stain just about any surface including sheet rock or plaster walls and ceilings. Attic and wall insulation becomes saturated with urine and feces which prohibits the insulation from insulating your home. As bat urine and feces accumulates in the attic or wall cavities you may start to smell an ammonia odor. Urine and feces staining may also be found at the entry/exit hole the bats are using to access the attic or walls. You will see a brownish stain occur as this urine and feces is washed down the exterior wall of the home or building. If you have bats living in your attic or walls, it is a good idea to contact the Anne Arundel County bat removal professionals to inspect your attic or home for accumulated bat droppings. If you have only had bats living in your attic or home for a short period of time, then you may only need a small area of the attic cleaned out. However, if bats have been living in your attic for a long period of time, then you may be in need of a total attic cleanout and re-insulation after the bat removal project is complete.
Bats Carry Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs
Bat bugs and bed bugs look so much alike that it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two without a magnifying glass. Bat bugs will mostly feed on bats. If the bats leave their roosting site, then the bat bugs usually go with the bats and any remaining bat bugs usually die off in the attic or wall cavities. However, bats can carry bed bugs as well. If bats are roosting in the attic or wall cavities of a home that is infested with bed bugs and then relocate to a new roosting site such as a neighbor’s attic, then, yes, there is a chance you may get bed bugs from the bats living in the attic. Watch this video to learn more about bats carrying bed bugs and how bed bugs can infest your home. If you suspect that you may be sharing your Glen Burnie home with bats, let our Maryland Wildlife Control experts know right away! The sooner we can evict the bats, the less damage your home will incur. Give us a call or contact online to schedule an appointment!