Recently, I noticed droppings on my outdoor patio table. The exterminator said it was bat droppings from a bat that stays in my outdoor umbrella. How do I get rid of the bat? I can't use my deck otherwise. I've never had any bat problems for the last 18 years.
By Wanda from Whitehouse Station, NJ
Bats are great to have around for insect control. If I were you, I'd let the bat stay. If you don't want it living under your umbrella, take the umbrella down when the bat is NOT roosting. Put it away for a few days. Place a bat box (http://www.watershedactivities.com/projects/spring/batbox.html) nearby to entice the bat to roost there. Once he is established in the bat house, replace your umbrella. Enjoy your yard with fewer mosquities while "your" bat enjoys his new house.
Bats are a blessing. If that little one leaves, you will not enjoy your patio with all the biting bugs. You might hang a bat house about 15 foot up, facing south. See if critter would like it better than your umbrella. They harm nothing. One bat eats more bugs than any zapper kills, very quietly. In summer when doors and windows are open in the night, i have one that visits me and my dogs in the bedroom every night. It circles several times and leaves. My dogs are asleep on my bed. They never even hear my favorite bugcatcher. Another idea is to grow the most beautiful plants by using the bat guano that critter gifts you with.
I don't want to advise you to fork over for an exterminator, since the cost is prohibitive. You might instead try your local wildlife office. I located ours by calling our local City Hall. If you have an Information and Referral service in your area (we have 211 I&R,) you can also ask them. Please be specific that you want the wildlife office.
Also, please be very careful regarding physical contact with a wild bat. I don't know if the rabies problem is in your area, but it's definitely in Ohio.
As someone who works in zoology, I want to set some bat myths strait. Bats don't mind light in fact they will fly at light simply to eat the bugs that swarm there. If you think it may bite you or get you sick. Most bats wont ever get close enough to a human to do either. And if they do get close there merely eating Mosquitoes and other insects that were about to land on you.
As long as the bat is outside there's no property damage and a lot of people now a days are building bat boxes to attract bats to there house for the beneficial aspects. Insect eating bats devour millions of insects a year. from mosquitoes and moths. To Crickets and spiders! And well spiders may be a lot more of a risk. Even Bees and Wasps may get eaten Fruit eaters pollinate flowers and disperse the seeds. Most eucalyptus trees exist from a bat. Either by pollination or eating the fruits it produces and disbursing the seed.
Having bats outside may also be keeping bugs from getting inside. why spend money and energy getting rid of a bat only to spend more tie and energy spraying for beetles and bees and other things. If you want the bat out of the mbrells put some bat boxes far enough from your home like 300 meters or the edge of your property and you'll get he benefits of less insects, While still never needing to see the bat or his droppings again.
Or just get rid of his home the umbrella. Hopefully hell get the point and find somewhere else. If you want him gone for good with no chance of come backs you can call a wildlife trapper who will gradually relocate him to somewhere else. Do not try to remove him yourself.
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