Eight species of Bats call Ontario home:
The Hoary Bat
Eastern Red Bat
Big Brown Bat
Northern long-eared Myotis
Eastern Small-Footed Myotis
Little Brown Myotis Bat (most common)
Bats in Canada are an endangered species and are protected under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Females usually only give birth to one pup per year.
Bats are the only mammal that can fly!! Which is a pretty impressive title to carry. They are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and active at night. Their wing is similar to a human hand, with a thin layer of skin that stretches between each finger like extension. They can live up to 20 years and they are not blind.
Bats are an important part of a healthy, thriving ecosystem.
They not only assist in the management of insects that create a nuisance in our homes, on our farms and in our forests by being excellent pest eaters, they also play an important role as pollinators. As a pest eater, they can catch an insect every two seconds, translating to an increase in their own body mass by 25% within 30 minutes of feeding. Virtually an insect vacuum. When it comes to plants and flowers, some depend on bats for their pollination and for spreading seeds. Some plants rely completely on bats.
In summary, we need them!! It’s important to respect our mammal friends and always treat them humanely.
Bats begin hibernating around October/November and emerge from hibernation in March.
WHEN INVADING HUMAN LIVING SPACE
Bats are generally harmless to humans. They will only protect themselves when threatened. Transmission of rabies by bats to humans is rare and there is an overall low risk of rabies in bats in Ontario. It is estimated that only 2 – 3% of Ontario's bat population are infected.
The danger in having Bats inhabit your home is exposure to their droppings (guano). Guano contains a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum which is detrimental to our health. When the guano dries and becomes an airborne pollutant, it can be inhaled, and the fungus will cause a lung infection known as Histoplasmosis. The infection can spread beyond the lungs to the entire body, which is fatal. You shouldn’t even attempt to clean bat guano on your own!
As well, Bats carry a parasite (Bat bugs) that are characteristic of bed bugs. Bat bugs affect humans the same way that bed bugs do. As long as Bats are relocated humanely, the Bat bugs should follow. If bats die in a space, the Bat bugs will search out new hosts and end up in your living space.
Due to Bats being labeled as an endangered species, exclusion work can only be performed around mid-August to mid-October. Most pups can fly by July, so by mid-August, the bats leave their nursery site to find an ideal place to hibernate during winter.
Balson will come out to your home to assess the severity of the situation.
If it happens that one stray bat has made it into your home, Balson will work to encourage the bat to leave the premises through an available exit point ie. open window or door.
If it has been determined that a colony of Bats is residing in your home (attic, shed or crawl space), Balson will manage our mammal friends humanely and respectfully. Our recommendation would be to install a one way door (possibly more then one, dependent on the situation and the design of the house) and in tandem, identifying and sealing up discovered access points. Allowing the Bats to exit in the evening when going out to forage and unable to re-enter the home upon their return. With other potential entry points also sealed up, they will move on to find other suitable accommodations. Possibly an installed bat house on the property. Promoting joint habitation, insect control and continued pollination assistance. A win win!!