How Can I Tell If It’s A Mouse Dropping or A Bat Dropping?

Bat Guano

Bat Guano

This can be puzzling for the homeowner, and many times people are certain they have mice, when actually, they have bats.  You can tell the difference however.  Take a stick and try to roll or smear the dropping.  Mice droppings are harder, and they tend to roll.  Bat droppings, if fresh, are very soft and it will smear.  If it is a little old, it will crumble into powder.  Many times you can see shiny bits of insects in the bat droppings; undigested leftovers from their nightly feast.  Look at the image on the right – you can click on it to see Bat Guano up close!



What is “Bat Maternity Season”?

Learn more about Bat Maternity Season.

How Do I Hang My Bat House?

bat house at Shasta College

installing a bat house

Bats typically prefer bat houses that are put about 15′ up on a pole in a cleared area.  It is best not to hang a bat house on a tree, however, you could hang it on a singular tree (not encompassed by lots of other trees) if you cleared all the tree branches beneath the house.  Bats do not want to have to navigate lots of obstacles (branches) to enter their home.  They also love for their house to be attached to the side of an existing structure.
They prefer a southeast location, neither too hot nor too cold.  Although they are not too picky about “curb appeal” or decorations, they do like a little “room freshener” in the form of bat guano smeared inside.  This lets them know this is a fine bat home, perhaps one that other bats found enjoyable.  We hope you have tenants soon!

Are Bats Chewing Through My Wires?

Sounds like mice.  Bats don’t chew through building materials or wood like rodents.  They may kick out some insulation as they enter and exit the attic or walls though.

How Many Different Types Of Bats Are In California?

We have 27 different species of bats in California.  45 different species occur in the United States and Canada.  Some of the ones we have here are Big Brown, Little Brown, Pallid, Hoary, Townsends Long-eared, Silver Haired, Western Mastiff, Mexican Free-Tailed, Yuba, California, Western Red, and Western Pipistrelle.  Some feed mostly on the ground, some feed mostly or entirely in flight. All are very beneficial.

Will a Bat Attack or Chase People?

“It flew in my front door…. will the bat attack me?” Bats do attack and chase people in the movies.  But in real life, bats are by nature timid animals, and just want to be left alone.  In South American countries, some people make pets of bats.  Bats don’t want to chase you, although it could seem to you like they are because of their very fast, seemingly erratic flying.  Bats don’t want to bite you either, but any animal can bite if scared, sick or handled.  Even when bats are sick, they tend to just go off quietly to die.  Try to let a frightened bat in your home back outside as quickly as possible if it has not had any contact with pets or people. It will be only to happy to oblige. (see our info on What To Do if There is a Bat in The Home Removal of Bats”.)

Why Won’t You Do “Bat Proofing” During Maternity Season?

Why not “bat proof when baby bats could be present? Good question.  The reason is because baby bats are not born being able to fly. It takes some weeks before they can.  If you have a bat colony in your walls, or bats in your attic during bat maternity season, we must wait to help you with your bat problem. (see Why Won’t You Do Bat Proofing During Maternity Season” under our “Common Questions” tab)  If we were to put up “excluders (our one-way valves) during this time, the mothers would exit out these excluders in the evening to hunt and drink, and subsequently not be able to get back in to nurse their young.  (Yes, nurse!  Bats are mammals, and they do not come from eggs.) This leads to the young bats starving to death inside the structure, and the sad sight of frantic mothers outside trying to get back in to their babies.  Most bats only have 1 baby at a time and they take very good care of it!  We want to also.  We will be most happy to schedule your “bat proofing” before or after bat maternity season!

Are My Fruit Trees Going To Have Bat Damage?

Bat damage to the fruit in your orchard???  Good news!  Not here! We don’t have fruit bats in North America.  All our bats are the insect and pest eating type.  So if you have noticed the nightly flitting of bats in your orchard, that is a good thing!  They have been attracted by the abundant feasting opportunities – what with the moths, beetles and such like delicacies! Even the fruit bats down in South America are extremely beneficial as essential pollinators of many things, including the rain forest. So don’t worry about the bats you see in your orchard.  They’re eating the pests that destroy produce.

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