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All About Bat Houses

All About Bat Houses

In this post, we discuss bat houses: What they are, why you would want one, how to build one and where to install a bat house. Learn more here.

Bats are not something you want in your home, which is why we offer bat removal services in the Chicago area.

If you have a bat in your home, call our professional bat removal in Chicago area team! CALL NOW: (847) 464-1861

That doesn’t mean bats are bad though. Bats are amazing insect predators and the average bat will consume 6,000-8,000 insects every night. It’s one of the reasons that bats are protected species in Illinois.

Because of these reasons, it has become popular in recent years to build bat houses on your property. When you build a bat house, not only do you help protect an endangered species and encourage bats to eat insects in your neighborhood, you also give bats a place to live so they don’t need to move into your attic or garage.

What are bat houses?Bat house mounted on telephone pole

Bat houses provide a safe place for bats to roost during the day and to raise their young. Many bat species tend to roost under the bark of dead trees but due to habitat loss that resource is becoming more and more scarce.

Related: Illinois Bat Species

Why build a bat house?

Bats are helpful animals and are a great source for organic pest-control. A single bat can eat more than 1000 insects in just one night. They are great hunters of mosquitoes and other annoying insects.

Bat populations are declining due to pesticide use and habitat loss. By making your yard bat-friendly you are not only getting rid of insects you are creating a habitat for many bat species.

Bats are not dangerous animals. Less than 1% of bats have rabies as they are not carriers of the disease, it is fatal to bats. Also they are not as likely to catch the disease as other animals, and even if they do, you’re less likely to come into contact with them.

Related: How to Get Bats Out of the House

Brown bats in attic during winterHow to build a bat house

Bat houses are a great way to provide a habitat for bats. It is best to use rough, nontoxic woods such as plywood or cedar to make your box. Keep the roughest side of the wood to the inside of the house. The rough surface will make it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house. Bat houses work best if they’re at least 2 feet tall, 1 foot wide, and 3 inches deep. Use appropriate mounting materials to attach the bat house.

Best place to install a bat box

It is important to consider the location of your bat box when it comes to to install it. The ideal location is 15′-20′ off of the ground. Either mount it to a pole, stand-alone tree or on the side of a building. Try to mount the box in a place that gets plenty of sunlight so it can absorb plenty of heat. If you decide to install a bat box on the side of a building, be sure there is ground beneath for the droppings to collect as opposed to allowing them to sit on a roof.

How to attract bats to your bat housedangerous bats, are bats dangerous

Bats like places with plenty of insects such as ponds and water features. Having plenty of night-blooming flowers will also help attract bats. A few great plants include datura, moonflower, four-o’clock, yucca, evening primrose, night-blooming water lily, night-blooming jessamine, cleome, and nicotiana.

 

Attic Solutions - Contact Us TodayFor animal removal and attic restoration services in Chicago, the suburbs and southern Wisconsin, contact us online or phone (847) 464-1861

Bats in the Attic During Winter Months

Brown bats in attic during winter

As the winter months approach, common bats will either migrate to warmer climates or more commonly, hibernate from November to April.

It’s quite possible bats may be hibernating in your attic!

It was once thought that bats usually hibernated in caves during the winter months but it is actually much more common for them to find a safe spot in homes and buildings. We just usually don’t realize it because bats don’t just find a spot at the top of your attic to hang as we might imagine.  They often will hibernate beneath your insulation or find a space in between the walls.

For bat removal in the Chicagoland region, call (847) 464-1861 

 

What not to do with bats in your attic

Evening BatDon’t seal their exit! The most common mistake people make is to seal all of the entries and exits during the day. The problem with this is that now you’ve trapped them inside. Those bats will now be desperate to get out and will very likely find their way into another room in your house, creating an unpleasant situation.

Don’t Kill the bats You may not realize this, but in Illinois, as in most states, bats are a protected species. They are so valuable in helping control insect populations that they are protected at both the state and federal level.

Related: Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

Don’t use poisons, glue boards, or high-frequency noise emitters Although you might be able to buy these products online, there is actually a federal ban on ultrasonic pest control devices. It is illegal to poison bats in Illinois.

 

What to do about bats in the attic

Inspection Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional bat removal service, the first step is a thorough inspection to find bats, their locations, entry and exit points.

Exclusion You need first to locate the primary entry and exit points while observing the bats in the evening. During the winter months, bats may exit your home to search for water if the temperature moves above 45 degrees. When all bats have left the home for evening hunting, this is when you should seal all entry points.

Professional Removal Bats in your attic during the winter months will spend a majority of the time being inactive. This is a good time to contact a professional removal service to have them safely removed. Remember, bats are a beneficial and protected species, so do not attempt to remove them yourself during hibernation.

Related: What is attic restoration?

 

Attic SolutionsCall a professional

If you don’t want to remove bats yourself (and we DON’T recommend it), then please call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861 for professional bat removal in the Chicagoland area.

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
Post Sources: The Bat Guy & MIBat Control

Rabid Bats In Illinois

rabid bats

According to the Chicago Tribune, the amount of bats that have tested positive for rabies in Illinois is doubled comparatively to last year. Last year at this point, there were eight positive rabies tests. Currently there are 16. Though these numbers are small and it is early in the season, it could be indicative of a trend this year.

Bats are found everywhere in the state, including the Chicagoland area. Rabid bats have been found in homes in Arlington Heights, Aurora, LaGrange, and Chicago’s south side. The family from Arlington Heights is pursuing rabies vaccinations. Most rabid bats found last year were in Cook and Will counties. Will county had a record setting 20 cases of bat rabies.

Several species of bat are found in Illinois. Big brown bats and small brown bats are quite common, even in urban areas. Officials say that bats are common transmitters of rabies because they are often in contact with humans. Bats can also transmit rabies to other mammals like dogs, foxes, skunks, and raccoons.

To avoid catching rabies, it’s advised to avoid contact with wild animals including stray cats and dogs. Especially avoid animals that are typically nocturnal but may be acting strangely during daylight hours. Do not leave food outside that may attract wild animals. Seal off any entry points to your home, or other buildings like sheds and garages, that wild animals may enter. Bats can enter through small entry pints near windows, attics, soffits, and spaces in your home’s siding. Keep your family pets’ vaccines up to date and do not let them roam without supervision.

If you believe a rabid animal has bitten you, seek medical attention immediately. If there are animal pests on your property or in your home, call pest control to have them safely removed.

Illinois Bat Species

There are 12 different species of bats that live in Illinois. Some hibernate in Illinois, while others migrate to warmer states. The most bat-heavy area of the state is in the southern area of Illinois, near the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Read more to find out about Illinois bat species.

Illinois bat species

Big Brown Bat – This bat is medium sized with a 11 to 13 inch wingspan. They are insectivorous and eat insects active at night such as moths, mosquitoes, and beetles. These bats are commonly found all over the United States and live over 10 years. Big brown bats can fly up to 40 mph!

Illinois bat species

Eastern Red Bat – This medium sized bat is known for its red or chestnut colored fur. They are commonly found among branches of hardwood trees. The eastern red bat forages for food in open spaces.

illinois bat species

Evening Bat – This small species, weighing between 6 and 14 g. They are very commonly found roosting in tree cavities. These bats are also occasionally found in man-made structures. They feed heavily on beetles, as well as other nighttime insects.

illinois bat species

Gray Bat – These bats are cave dependent and rely on caves, as opposed to other structures like trees or buildings. Disturbance in caves can be extremely detrimental to their population. They were once considered endangered in the late 70s. Through conservation efforts the population has restored.

illinois bat species

Hoary Bat – This bat has unique coloring, which is dark at the roots and white at the tips. They are a larger species of bat with a wingspan of 15.5 inches. Hoary bats are rarely found in urban settings.

Illinois bat species

Indiana Bat – These bats tend to live in hardwood forests, but can be found in agricultural areas and fields. They are considered endangered and it is estimated that over 50% of their population has depleted over the past decade. They are sometimes confused for the little brown bat.

illinois bat species

Little Brown Bat – This bat is one of the most commonly found in America. They prefer to roost near water sources and are found in caves, buildings, trees, natural hollows, and woodpiles. Their survival is currently highly threatened due to white nose syndrome.

illinois bat species

Northern Long Eared Bat – These bats are known for their relatively long ears. They also have a longer tail than other myotis bats. This species tends to live in boreal forests. In the fall, these bats migrate to hibernate.

illinois bat species

Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat – This bat is sometimes known as the southeastern big-eared bat. They have inch long ears and a wingspan of 10-12 inches. Moths make up 90% of their diet. They can be found in the south and eastern sides of Illinois in abandoned buildings, under bridges, in wells, in caves, and trees.

illinois bat species

Silver-Haired Bat – This medium sized bat is mostly black in color, though their fur is white tipped. They roost in tree cavities and bark crevices. Their coloring makes them difficult to spot while roosting. This species prefers to eat moths but will eat spiders as well.

illinois bat species

Southeastern Bat – This bat has a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Their fur ranges in color from gray to orangeish-brown. They like to hunt and feed over water. The Southeastern bat sometimes roosts with Rafinesque’s big-eared bats. They can be found in southern Illinois.

illinois bat species

Tri-Colored Bat – Formerly known as the eastern pipistrelle, the tri-colored bat is known for its interesting fur color. Their fur is brown at the tips, yellow in the middle, and black at the root. They are known as one of the smallest bats in North America, only weighing 4 to 10 g. They live about 10 to 15 years.

These Illinois bat species are generally harmless and avoid human contact. However, if you discover a roost or bat in your home, contact animal control to have them safely removed.