A Guide to New York Bats◀ Back To Blog
August 15, 2019
Upstate New York is no stranger to bats; from Albany to Troy to Saratoga Springs, you can find a variety of bats flying about on warm summer nights and hibernating in attics on cold winter days. While a bat infestation can be a serious issue, bats themselves have an overstated reputation as nefarious or scary (especially compared to other wildlife), due in large part to their representation in films and television; in fact bats serve as an essential part of the ecosystem, acting as a sort of organic insect control. Still, you don’t exactly want bats living in your attic all the time (well, probably not), and luckily there are humane solutions related to bat control. But before we talk about that, let’s learn a little more about the bats of New York State.
While there are 9 types of bats that are active in New York State, for the purposes of this article we are going to focus on the 6 most common, 3 of those being cave bats, and 3 of them tree bats:
Cave Bats of New York
- Big Brown Bat: The largest of the cave bats, the Big Brown Bat is known for its size- around 2-3 times heavier than other caves bats and with a 13-inch wingspan- and for being the only bat type that regularly hibernates in buildings.
- Little Brown Bat: New York State’s most common type of bat, Little Brown Bats, are a low-flying breed known to be frequent home invaders in the summertime.
- Indiana Bat: Indiana bats roost in large clusters during the winter, which has sadly made them susceptible to mass extermination; this habit has led to their label as an endangered species. In Summer they usually nest in the crevices and loose of damaged or dead trees.
Tree Bats of New York
- Silver Haired Bat: Known for its silver tipped hair, these bats used to be the most frequent bat in the Adirondacks, though they are now rarely seen in the Northeast in the Summers.
- Hoary Bat: Hoary bats are the largest of all bats that reside in New York State, and are seen most frequently in the Adirondacks. They have a wingspan of up to 16 inches, and typically roost high in trees.
- Red Bat: A reddish-gray or reddish-brown color, Red Bats are not particularly frequent in New York, though on rare occasions they can be seen migrating during the daytime.
Signs of Bats
Signs of bats in the home are relatively easy to spot, once you know what you should be looking out for. Bats are well known to roost in attics, so if you suspect a bat infestation, that’s the first place to investigate. Stains on your ceiling, squeaking sounds, and a pungent odor comparable to ammonia are all signs of the presence of a bat colony. In addition to those, there are a few other visible signs:
- Dark, pebbly droppings around your home
- Black, oily streaks near small entrance holes
- Piles of bat droppings in places that bats typically hide
Places Bats Hide
Because bats fly, they will typically try to hide at the highest point of your home, most notably your attic. However, if you don’t have an attic, that doesn’t mean that you are safe from a bat colony coming into your home. Because even large bats are relatively small creatures, they are able to hide in practically any small space. Some common places you’ll see them outside the attic includes:
- The lining of your roof
- The in-between spaces of walls
I Have a Bat Infestation, Now What?
Thomas Pest Services has a comprehensive process for humanely taking care of any bat problem that you may be experiencing. Once you contact us, we’ll send one of our techs to do a comprehensive inspection of your home or other invades space, and figure out how exactly the bats have gotten in, and if in their entry they have caused any damage. Once identified, the technician will then install a one-way exclusion device at all entry points; this will allow the bats to fly out of the home, but will bar them from reentering.
During maternity season, we can only seal the secondary entry points, because this is the time period when baby bats are not able to fly; completely sealing the mother bats from re-entry would leave the baby bats stuck, unable to fly, without their mothers to care for them, rendering them effectively helpless. Once the babies can fly (in mid-August) we will return and seal the remaining, primary entry points to eliminate the infestation once and for all.
After a few weeks, your specialist will return to do a routine follow-up inspection and make sure that there are no more bats in the affected space, at which point the primary entry-point will be permanently sealed, and your home will be bat-free! We will also clean-up, droppings and deodorize and decontaminate the space where the bats had previously resided, and replace any insulation that may have been damaged by the bats.