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P Wood
When the word 'bat' becomes a bad word

I have been afraid of saying anything because of the years of bat droppings which I have recently become aware of. I have a farmhouse which has been in the family for over 165 years. It is what is referred to as a 4 over 4 with newer 4 over 4 built in the 1860's which t's into it. The oldest part of the home has only 2 porcelain fixtures to provide power for the entire upstairs. While trying to remedy this, I have had electricians come out and never call back. I finally realize part of the problem is the contamination in the upper attic space. Although we are finally getting someone out with a bigger ladder than we have to put a bag over the opening so the bats can leave and not find a way back in, we still have the clean up or the encapsulation to do. I had hoped we would not have to do it that way, and, I am afraid we will be starting a very serious health issue in the garage/granery building and the barn. The bats we get out of the house will likely go to the other buildings. I don't want droppings all over my truck! Some bats have gone there already. What do I do- what can I do? Obviously, they are not making a dent in the mosquito population this year. I have no idea what the State of Michigan can do-if anything, what is required; what alternatives might be out there, and I have become afraid to say anything. I think I would rather have asbestos!! Do you have any suggestions? I have always loved this home with it's charm and character and now I have become afraid that I will, indeed, be the last generation to live here. If I cannot make this home more user friendly, it will become the "scarey" house no one wants to live in. Please help me. I need suggestions from people who KNOW.

Re: When the word 'bat' becomes a bad word

You'll have to seal the bats out of any place you don't want them roosting. That means plugging any hole greater than 1/4". Where you need to have vents, use 1/4" hardware cloth (it's heavy-duty screening material, available at any hardware store or home center).

Install a bat-chaser in the attic. It's an electrically-powered device that emits an ultrasonic sound the bats don't like. I don't know if they really work or not.

To encourage the bats to move elsewhere, build some bat houses and place them on your property away from the house. Just do a web search for "bat house" and you'll find plenty of information; you can build them yourself (they don't have to be fancy).

You can probably do the cleanup yourself. It will be stinky, dirty, messy work. Get a disposable protective suit (Tyvek-type) and a respirator. (I think you can get these at home centers in the paint department.) Get heavy-duty trash bags to contain the waste; if you're paranoid you can double-bag it and seal the bags with adhesive tape.

Just be very careful around any electrical wires; if the wiring in your attic is on porcelain insulators, you may want to shut off all the power when you're working around them. That old wiring has very brittle insulation; avoid making contact with it. A hard bump could easily break the insulation off.

Re: When the word 'bat' becomes a bad word

heard that mothballs may help you out with bats problem but i don't count much on this..best way is to find a professional bat expert in your hometown to help you..

Re: When the word 'bat' becomes a bad word

Find a gardener and offer him all the guano he can use if he cleans it out. It's better than any other fertilizer.

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