It is bat season in New York! No, I am not talking a hunting season or even a sport season (after all, baseball is winding down), but the best time of the year to perform bat control and prevent future problems. It is common for bats in New York to establish residence in homes and businesses. Some of these animals migrate, but some seek winter hibernation sites that could include your place.
Early on in infestations it can be difficult to know if there is a colony in your building. If you see the animals flying around outside your building regularly, say, more than 2-3 times in a year, you may be hosting a colony. If you begin to notice an unusual odor in your building, similar to gerbils, you may want to check further. If you find guano along the walls of your building or staining from urine on exterior walls, it could indicate an access point for the animals.
You may want to perform a careful watch for a few evenings near dusk and determine if they are living in your home. If you see the animals enter or exit or even suddenly disappear in the vicinity of your home, it is time to seek professional bat control.
When you read about bat control on the internet, and there are plenty of sites that will offer advice, it sounds pretty simple: get them out, block up the holes. But, it is much harder to put into practice. Bat control requires special equipment and knowledge that comes from years of experience. Beware of the various sonic or mechanical repellents that claim to get rid of bats. They generally do not work.
I know of a homeowner that discovered a bat problem. She consulted with a bat control professional but was reluctant to pay a fee for something that is “so easy.” She decided to do it herself and ended up killing nursing mother bats and having starving babies crying and squeaking and dying all over her attic. What a mess! What a fine! It is illegal to kill these species in New York and she now had two big problems on her hands: a legal problem to be sure, but the physical mess of the dead and dying animals was also formidable. It would have been so much easier to get the right kind of help. Bat control can happen quickly when it is done right, but it is not exactly easy—bat control professionals just make it look that way so you can breathe easier yourself.