Bats in my Belfry- Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspection

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Bats in my Belfry- Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspection Bats


Bats are beneficial animals in our environment but like many of these creature you may not want them roosting in your home.




Bats can help control the populations of many insects we do not want around like mosquitoes, beetles, moths, and leafhoppers.  Some insects can hear bats up to 100 feet away and will avoid areas where bats are present.

During a recent home inspection I found a pretty nice guano pile in the attic and on the roof. These piles may look a bit like mouse fecal material. Bats defecate before they enter the home (or roost) and below where they roost during the day.


 Bat Guano found during Attic inspection           Bat Guano on roof

Ways tell the difference in the feces is that bat droppings tend to be clustered in a pile and will have a shiny speckled appearance (from all the insect wings, they are doing their job).  I am told that their feces will crumble like dust when touched (I really do not know about this identification method ; ). Mouse droppings tend to be scattered about and become hard when dry.

                                    Typical Mouse droppings

One test to see if the area may be an active roosting site is you can lay down newspaper and see if any new droppings occur.

Caution about bat droppings (and bird droppings). They can carry a fungus known to cause Histoplasmosis. (Informational link-histoplasmosis )

It advisable to avoid breathing the feces and avoid contact (careful on your newspaper test). You should wear a HEPA filter mask and spray the fecal material down with 10% bleach solution (this really should be done when cleaning up rodent and bird feces as well).  (Information on clean up-link)

Or if you are more industrious you may want to start a new business in bat guano fertilizer.

As home inspectors we should be diligent in our safety procedures and be properly prepared. Performing thorough home inspections in attics and crawlspaces is a critical component of the inspection process but has some inherent risks.

Bat Information-

http://njenvirothon.org/njconed/Factsheet_2004_Bats21.pdf 
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/intro-to-bats/subcategory/18.html
http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/wildlife/bats/the_benefits_of_bats.html



“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…     
 
Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

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Rainmaker
1,257,383
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

No joke.  I went into an attic, walk up stairs in an old home, opened the big staircase cover (you've done that for sure) and turned on my light.  I scared between 1 and 2 million bats, all of which wanted out of the attic right then, all flying for the chimney which had separated 4 or 6" from the house!

The floor was covered with inches, that's INCHES, of guano!

I covered my nose and ran out!

Asking the people if they were sick a lot the lady, a renter, said yes, all the time!  Ummm....

 

And here I thought it was hantuvirus! 

Kidding...

May 10, 2012 03:42 AM #1
Rainmaker
638,485
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Bats are beneficial, but their droppings aren't. People just don't seem to like bats very much. Can't imagine why. 

May 10, 2012 05:45 AM #2
Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Wow that would be a sight to see. I have seen them fly out  from caves but not from a house.

Jim, Yeah people really are weirded out by bats. I kinda like them, well that is if they are not roosting in my digs that is. I have built a few bats houses. Up at our old house we had a good mosquito problem and they can sure help.

May 10, 2012 06:09 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,257,383
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The most bats I had seen prior to this house was while our Scout troop was in the cave on the C&O Canal right near the Antietam Battlefield.  There were huge numbers there!  The mouth of that cave is about 20' high.

May 10, 2012 10:09 AM #4
Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, I sat outside of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and watched the bats come out of there and make their way onto their feeding grounds. Was an awesome sight to see. They need to build up speed to escape the cave so they circle around forming like a little bat tornado.

http://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/upload/bat_research.pdf

May 10, 2012 10:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,257,383
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Impressive!  On the Discovery Channel they said that a quarter of all mammals in the world are bats.

I love the end of your PDF where it allows you to adopt a bat!  What?

May 10, 2012 12:41 PM #6
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Rainmaker
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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