I just listened to the guy who wanted to exterminate the bats in his garage, and I was stunned at his foolish and cruel idea to waste fossil fuel in a futile attempt to gas them. Bats are key to our environment and he should welcome them. They are excellent insect control and he’ll have less problems mosquitos and moths if they are present. I commend your idea to purchase a bat house, and he can get a wide selection from BCI.org (Bat Conservancy International in Austin, TX). What a dope this guy is, and I appreciate you providing him with reasonable alternatives to baticide.
I used to live in an old 2 story farm house that had bats. I crawled up on the roof and tried to find out where the bats would fly in and out. I wanted to block the openings. About midnight I finally decided to come back down because the bats had probably sneaked off without letting me see where they had gotten out. So next I tried sending our big cat, CR Cat in the attic. CR Cat had chased an oppusum out of the house once so I figure he would be good for this. But CR ran out of the attic and wouldn’t touch the bats. So I put the little cat Max in the attic. Max loved being in the attic but the bats hated it so the next night all the bats left and never returned!
I have tried to attract bats to my house several times. My son once had one take up residence between the window and storm window. It is fun watching them on a summer evening a dusk as they go about reducing the flying insects.
They are good critters.
It seems to me I heard on NPR several months ago that there is a real concern about a disease that attacks bats and that bats may become extinct. Since bats are part of the ecosystem, I would hate to see them exterminated by CO poisoning.
Wow, just when I think that people are catching on that bats, while creepy little guys, are necessary to the environment, I hear a caller wanting to exterminate his with carbon monoxide. This idea is lame brained, cruel, lacking in common sense, wasteful, and harmful to the caller. The guy definitely has bats his belfry! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
Bat are DEFINITELY good! Bat Conservation International is an awesome organization based in Austin, Texas. They have pdf instructions for humane bat exclusion on their website:
Win-win solution: clean cars and the bats continue to rid the world of mosquitoes!
Dr. Kieran, Car Talk Animal-Vehicle Biologist
And if they are Townsends, or a dozen or so other endangered bats, it’s illegal to exterminate them. Obviously they like that garage and while a bat house outside is a good idea, they will still probably need to be humanely excluded. Info is on BCI’s website but it’s simply finding their entry/exits and hanging screen so they can still get out, but they can’t get back in. NEVER do this in summer when there could be young left behind that are unable to fly yet. Meanwhile, hang a net from the rafters to catch the guano.
We had bats in our garage and got rid of them by simply putting a low wattage neon nightlight in the outlet on the ceiling. They have not returned to the garage but we’ve had to have the exterminator encourage them to leave our house roof twice. These are fruit bats, a protected species. The pest control guys just hung up mesh and then a few weeks later filled the little holes the bats used to gain access to the structure.
Looking for a novel approach to the bat poop problem? Read this article on a carnivorous pitcher plant from Borneo:
Just do a little gardening in the garage and everyone’s happy!
Dr. Kieran, Car Talk Animal-Vehicle Biologist
I just came in on the tail end of the question and maybe he tried this already, but I think he should just leave the lights on for a few nights in a row and they will probably go elsewhere.
We have an old theater in our town that was first used for Vaudeville, then became a movie house, and was finally purchased by a theater group for plays and musicals. I’ve played in pit orchestra for numerous musicals in this old theater. A bat has taken up residency in the old building and often swoops across the ceiling during a performance. I think it adds something and would hate to have an exterminator chase the bat away.
I could not believe this guy was smugly laughing about killing bats. Bats are very important in controlling insects and pollinating plants. And they are already struggling for survival with the devastating bat disease whitenose syndrome and with habitat destruction. But he’s concerned about being a little inconvenienced? What a jerk! There are very humane and not very difficult ways to exclude the bats so they can go on to find a home somewhere else and continue their good work in the environment. Others who have commented here are correct - Bat Conservation International is a great source for information. Tom and Ray - you did stand up for bats, just maybe not strongly enough.
I called up a firm that advertises itself as being an "eco-friendly exterminator (I just needed household insect control). I asked if I could purchase some insecticides from him, this guy proceded to really work me over for wanting to use insecticides. We did not even get to how he thought I should control the insects. I also like the “bats and the bees”.
Yes, this guy is a tool and needs a dope slap. Something is wrong when the first reaction is to kill the animal. OMG, bat poop on my car! What could be worse? What will people think? What nobody mentioned was the possibility of CO leaking into the house, (5 teenagers recently perished in a hotel room from this) or a child accidentally finding her way into the garage. Think, people.
Glad to see people are jumping on the dope slapping bandwagon on this one. Bats in the Northeast are endangered. There is un-explained disease labeled the White Nose Syndrome that is decimating the bat colonies in PA and NY. We need to be encouraging their habitats, not killing them. Liked the idea of bat houses and was also pleased to learn that they take a while to populate the new homes. Noise and light are the best deterrents to bat nesting.
Bats are good, but guano in your living space is bad. Billy the exterminator waited till they all left at night and put up a mesh so they could not get back in. Simple, effective, no less bats in the world, but a safer place to live. Look on the internet for how to build a bat house if you enjoy the mosquito eradication in your back yard.
Actually, when I was scanning your post I first thought that “creepy little guys” referred to the caller and his ilk! I hope he learns something from these reactions. Click and Clack displayed remarkable restraint, I thought, in the way they directed him in more humane directions.
Thank you for your post. I was refering to this disease in a post I made earlier, but couldn’t remember the name of this disease. I now remember that it was called “White Nose Syndrome”.
No need to buy a bat house. All you need is 2 pieces of plywood and some metallic window screen. oh and 1x1s attach the window screen to on piece of plywood…this they use to hang off from. The 2 pieces of plywood are separated by the 1x1s. Piece of plywood for roof. Bottom left open for entry and departure
The man with bats in his garage is in need of Gunn’s Bat Diode. Many people have heard of the Gunn Diode, a miniature microwaver genrator which arms both radar guns and radar detectors. Fewer people have heard of his Bat Diode.
An electronic diode allows current to flow one direction but not the other. A Bat Diode allows bats to flow one direction but not the other.
To make a Bat Diode, you start with a disposble pie plate, and cut and fold it so it forms a flap which a bat can crawl through in one direction but not the other.
Then block up all the other openings (you can be sure that the bats have not been living on JUST the insects in the garage, but have been making nightly forays outside by crawling through small openings), and put the Bat Diode in the remaining opening. You just need to be vigilant about tracking down, and blocking, the other openings.