The following signs may indicate the presence of bats in your home:
- Various low-volume sounds, such as scratching or vocalizations, may be heard.
The presence of feces, known as GUANO
- It is segmented, long and crumbly.
- It becomes powdery when crushed or ground.
- If the colony is large, an unpleasant odour may develop.
- There may be feces on the walls where the bats enter and exit the home.
The presence of urine
- It crystallizes at room temperature.
- Surfaces where it has been deposited may appear powdery.
Tips for living together
- The belief that bats cause the same types of damage as some rodents is false. In fact, bats do nothing more than enter through a pre-existing opening in the building and occupy little-used spaces such as attics. The main inconvenience is the accumulation of feces. In order to avoid any unpleasantness due to the presence of feces, one option is to lay a plastic sheet on the ground where it accumulates. This should be done in early spring. The sheet can then easily be removed at the end of the summer once the bats have departed for their hibernaculum (e.g. a cave or abandoned mine), where they will spend the winter.
- If you believe that bats have taken up residence in your home, there is no reason to fret. The likelihood that any bat in the colony is infected with rabies is very low. Like most mammals, bats can contract rabies, but the incidence of rabies in bats is only one percent. However, it is still important to be careful around bats so as to avoid any chance of becoming infected, since rabies is fatal to all mammals, including humans. It should be noted that ill or dying bats that are found on the ground are more likely to be infected with rabies. For this reason, you should never touch a bat with your bare hands, even if it is dead.
- If a bat colony has taken up residence in your attic, it is important to caulk or seal off any openings between the attic and the living areas of your home. This precaution will reduce the risk of contamination.
- Ideally, the attic or other area inhabited by bats should not be accessed while bats are present. In any case, the bats are not likely to be observable since they tend to hide themselves away in inaccessible areas. If you wish to see them, wait outside their exit location at nightfall. They will come out on their own.
Chauves-souris aux abris. Vivre en harmonie avec une colonie de chauve-souris [en ligne]. http://chauve-souris.ca/vivre-en-harmonie-avec-une-colonie-de-chauve-souris [page consultée le 26 novembre 2017].
Photo de Grande chauve-souris brune de Michel Sansfacon: www.flickr.com/photos/michelsansfacon/