by Erika Mehlhaff
Austin is famously home to arguably the largest urban bat colony in the world. The Congress Avenue Bridge colony of Mexican Free-tailed Bats is beloved by local bat lovers and those around the world. Bats are a protected species in Texas; it is illegal to harm or kill them in the Lone Star State. But even though bats are welcomed and protected in the city, some Austinites have trouble with them. Are bats in Austin friend or foe? Read on to learn more.
BATS ARE BENEFICIAL
Bats are one of the most beneficial mammals to the environment because they play an integral role in pollinating flowers and spreading plant seeds, as well as providing natural pest control. Bats consume large amounts of insects which is an incredible benefit for Austinites who must fend off mosquitoes and other biting bugs while enjoying time outdoors; moreover, they eradicate huge numbers of crop-damaging pests which is advantageous to gardeners and farmers in the area. Bats in Austin are important and valuable contributors that help keep the local ecosystem balanced, as they do across the globe.
SIGNS OF A BAT INFESTATION
Though bats hibernate in the winter in other geographic locations, they normally do not in South Texas as temperatures in the region do not get cold enough. Also, most bats are nocturnal and are active in the evenings and nighttime; that said, there are some species that are active during daylight hours. No matter when they are active, bats can become pests.
There are many signs of a bat infestation. The first sign one will likely encounter is the bats themselves; homeowners might spot one (or more) bats flying around outside near their homes. When bats decide to take up residence in homes, they enter through existing holes and cracks and start roosting in people’s attics and crawl spaces. You also might hear them making noises such as whining, clicking, and scratching while indoors. If the homeowner enters the attic or crawl space, he or she might see large quantities of bat droppings that have an odor similar to ammonia.
BAT CONTROL AND REMOVAL
If someone sees a bat coming or going from his or her home during the evening hours, it is very likely there are others that have moved into the building. Bat infestations in Austin require professional care. Due to the toxins in bat droppings, prolonged exposure is damaging to human health. A professional pest management company will be able to conduct a full removal of the colony, including the droppings, and decontaminate the space where the bats have been living.
Absolute Pest Management is the professional pest management company to call for effective pest control in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding area. The skilled pest mitigation team at Absolute Pest Management is dedicated to helping homeowners protect themselves and their property from pests including bats. The reputable team of pest experts uses safe and effective methods to help address all your pest management needs. Contact Absolute Pest Management online or by calling 512-444-0262 to learn more about the services they offer.