Bats are a common problem in Hamilton Ontario. Near McMaster University, you have a lot of old houses with cracked chimneys that bats can easily get into to access your attic. Bats are so tiny, they can get through cracks that are just 6mm. Bats feed off insects such as mosquitoes, so you’ll find a lot of bats living near the Bruce Trail, or the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. You’ll also find Bat problems in the more rural areas of Ontario, such as Dundas, Mount Hope, Stoney Creek, Flamborough and Ancaster. These furry little critters can eat up to three times their body weight in insects every night. Most bats will eat up to 3,000 insects every evening.
Where in Ontario are Bats Common?
As mentioned above, houses near McMaster University are quite common to have bats. The mosquitoes near Cootes Paradise are a big draw for bats. Furthermore, you have a lot of old homes in this area where it’s easy for bats to climb into the cracks and holes along your chimney or attic. As a student at McMaster, I used to enjoy sitting out on a cool fall night and watching the bats fly about outside of Hamilton Hall as an entertaining study break.
If you’ve ever walked along the Bruce Trail at dusk, you’ll notice a lot of deer. If you look up towards the trees, you’ll also be able to see quite a few bats. A common spot to see bats is along the the Scenic Road of the Bruce Trail, just before the Chedoke Stairs. Of course houses near Chedoke, along Dundurn, Upper Paradise and Scenic Road are subject to having these furry visitors in their attics, particularly near the end of summer.
We are getting a lot of calls for bat removal in Binbrook. Even though the houses are new, Bats are still finding ways in. We think it’s because Binbrook used to be a haven for Bats as they had a high mosquito population due to the number of conservation areas. Lake Niapenco is quite large, and produces tens of thousands of mosquitoes daily, so bats are doing us some hard work in Binbrook in keeping the insect population down. Most of our Bat removal calls for the Binbrook area are in and around Highway 56 where there are lots of bugs for them to eat due to the large amount of marshes, and ponds in the area.
Dundas has a rather high bat population, due to the amount of beautiful trees and natural forests it houses. The homes in Dundas are rather old as well, making them perfect for curious bats to enter. Bats are common along Governors road, which is along the edge of the Dundas Conservation area.
Any Pest gets a lot of bat removal requests around houses next to Victoria Park, and Victoria Park Lake. A few houses in this area are quite old, and an abundance of insects (from the lake) make this a perfect spot for bats to congregate. You’ll also find quite a few bats around Stanley Park in Kitchener. Houses on Manchester Road, and Ottawa street get a lot of bat action. My good friend lives on Burbank Road in Kitchener, and he puts out a projection screen in the summer, where his kids, and nearby children can watch kids movies under the moonlight. Normally, around August, when the Bat population is at its peak, the bats will steal the show as they flutter about and catch insects.
Bats are frequently seen flying around Lake Kelso, where mosquitoes naturally breed in Milton. While most of the houses are new in Milton, as it’s one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario, we still get calls for bat removal services in older areas of Milton such as Derry Road, or Ontario Street.
I’ll never forget visiting my crazy Aunt who lived in Milton near Five Side Road in the early 80’s. Whenever I visited her in August, her home always had some nightly bat visitors. She frequently had a broom or a tennis racket nearby to shoo the bat out of her Kitchen where bats used to fly about while we played gin rummy.
Are Bats Hazardous?
Yes, while it’s rare, bats are known carriers of rabies. If you’ve been bitten by a bat, you should try to capture it to take it in for testing. If the bat has flown off, get a Rabies shot. It is also recommended that if bats are flying around your bedroom while you sleep, to get your rabies shots. Bats have tiny teeth and there bites can go unnoticed. Getting your rabies shot isn’t the most pleasant thing to get, but dying of rabies is a horrible alternative. While rabies isn’t a disease you hear often about, it still exists. In fact, a bat with Rabies was found in Burlington in 2013.
Bats and Rabies
While the rabies has decreased considerably, it still runs rampant in bats. Bats have a tendency to get rabies as they are in close contact with one another. A bat biting another bat will not kill it. The bat then transfers the rabies to a curious raccoon, skunk, dog or cat who may see a sick bat that has fallen to the ground. It is impossible to vaccinate bats for rabies as they only eat insects in Ontario. These Ontario Rabies statistics were taken from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Finding out if a bat has rabies always has to be confirmed in a medical lab. Therefore if you’ve been bitten by one, be sure to bring the bat in for testing. If a bat is not afraid of you, in that it is letting you approach it, or it is active during the day, there is a good chance it has rabies.
Bat droppings (or guano) can also cause an incurable respiratory disease called histoplasmosis. Senior citizens or those with compromised immune systems are at a great risk for this disease.
Bats are common carriers of bed bugs. When bats roost in your home, they bring the bed bugs with them. These bed bugs can then crawl down to your bedroom where they are attracted to your body heat and start an infestation.
There are 18 species of bats in Ontario, 8 of which live in Hamilton.
How do I know if I have bats?
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t realize that they have bats in their home, at least until the colony grows to a rather large size. They are rather silent and are most active outside, particularly at dusk and dawn. The first sign of bat troubles is usually a dropping left high up on a dresser, or visible on a white bed sheet. You may also see a bat flying about in your bedroom. This is generally a young bat learning to fly, as adult bats tend to stay out of brightly lit rooms and away from people. If you do see a bat and it is swooping towards your head, it isn’t trying to attack you or threaten you, it is probably trying to gobble up an insect.
You may also notice the odour of bats before you hear or see them. Bats don’t chew on wood in your attic so they are difficult to hear. Bats roost, meaning they go into your attic to have babies, as such they don’t chew on wiring like a mouse would, or tear up insulation to make a nest like a squirrel does. Instead, the only damage that bats do is poop and pee everywhere. Over time, your attic floor will get coated with bat poop, which will go mouldy and rotten. If you feel like you have bats, watch your house near dusk and dawn to see if you can see any entering or exiting your home.
Only 2 species of bats roost in attics. These are the big brown bat and the little brown bat.
The Any Pest Bat Removal Services
Any Pest removes bats in a humane manner. We generally apply a device at their point of entry, where they can exit your home, but not get back in. This is necessary so don’t trap the bats inside your home, which would cause a far bigger mess as the bats would find their way into your living spaces. Any Pest also takes caution with roosts that may contain baby bats. As baby bats are unable to fly, they rely on their mothers for food. Thus we typically only do Bat removal once we are sure there are no babies inside.
Did you know the bats that roost in your attic are female. Bats crawl into your attic to have babies, where it is safe and warm. Male bats will stay outside and roost on tree bark or in rocks.
**If you plan on removing bats yourself, always wear leather gloves, or thick gardening gloves. Bats can easily bite through rubber gloves.