California Leaf-Nosed Bat Removal & Control (Macrotus californicus)
California Leaf Nosed bat removal and control is a very specialized pest bat issue and should only be handled by a proffesional bat control expert.
The benefit of having bats around is that most of them eat lots of insects, including mosquitoes… the downside is when they move into your attic! If you think this has happened to you, here’s basic information on how bats operate and how to deal with them.
The California Leaf-nosed Bat is easily recognizable: they’re the only bat in North America, north of Mexico, with very large ears and triangular leaf-like projections on the nose. They are grayish to dark brown on their back and have paler fur below. It is also one of the most maneuverable in flight.
California leaf-nosed bats do not hibernate or migrate. therefore the removal and control of these animal is very necessary. They can be found in Sonoran and Mojave Desert scrub habitats in the Colorado River valley in southern California, Nevada and Arizona, and throughout western Mexico. They will establish roosts in caves, mines, attics, and buildings.
This bat is a "gleaning" insectivore which captures prey such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and sphinx moths straight from the ground or foliage rather than in flight. If you come across a colony in a cave, please be careful as they are sensitive to disturbance, which can be especially detrimental in the summer months when these bats are rearing young.
If you’ve had a leaf-nosed bat or two appear in your house, or if you’re hearing noises you suspect are made by bats, a little bit of investigation will go a long way. Depending on the time of year, it may be an isolated incident, or evidence of a residence population of bats. We have many pages on several different species of bats, please use our main bat removal page for specific species of bats needing controlled..
Hearing Noises? Identifying the Culprit
First of all, is essential to verify that a nuisance is caused by bats, and not some other animal. Scrambling, scratching, and thumping sounds coming from attics and walls may be caused by rats, mice, or flying squirrels. Twittering and rustling sounds in old chimneys, often attributed to bats, may be caused by chimney swifts. Bats often become noisy before leaving their roosts at sunset and may chatter on hot days when they move down attic walls to seek refuge from heat. Thus, an increase in chirping noises about dusk probably indicates bats.
Here’s when you pull out the lawn chairs, lemonade, and bug repellent, and sit outside to watch your house around sunset time. If the "bats" swarm and enter the chimney at dusk, most likely these are swifts; a chimney cap will go a long way towards dealing with that problem. Bats will be seen leaving 15-45 minutes after sunset in midsummer. Make note of all the exits the bats are using, and make an approximate count of about how many bats you have (this is important for setting up bat boxes later on). During daylight hours, look for dark staining or smudges along the roofline; these may be places where bats are entering the building, where the oils in the bats’ fur has rubbed off.
Leaf-nosed Bats in Early Fall
The discovery of one or two bats in a house is probably the most frequent problem. Leaf-nosed bats often enter homes through open windows and doors, but may use any crevice it can find. This usually occurs in the early fall when bats are checking for potential roost or hibernation sites. These bats may occur singly, in pairs, or in small groups. These bats may suddenly appear in midwinter during a warm weather spell and even attempt to feed. Migratory bats occasionally enter buildings overnight during their spring and fall migrations.
Leaf-nosed Bat Appearances in Mid to Late Summer
Repeated occurrences of Leaf-nosed bats in your living spaces in mid to late summer suggest that a maternity colony is close by, most likely in the attic. As juvenile bats begin fending for themselves and exploring, one may explore its way into your living room. The presence of any bat in your living spaces is purely accidental; it is often a simple matter to allow it to escape.
Letting Them Out
Any bat will usually find its own way out; jut open all windows and doors leading to the outside. Bats usually will not attack a person even if chased. Never swat or throw things at the bat, or run around waving. All this tends to do is confuse the bat and leave you exhausted. Above all else, calmly watch the bat to make sure it leaves. If the bat refuses to leave, it will calm down and land on something. Drapes and hanging clothes seem to be the preferred rest areas. Place a small box or can over the bat, then gently slide thin cardboard under the "trap" to collect your bat, then release it outside. At last resort, local health authorities can be called to collect the bat, though this may result in its demise. If the bat, or any wild animal, has come in contact with pets, children, invalids, etc. contact your local health department. Health department recommendations vary from state to state.
Leaf-nosed Bat Exclusion
These are animals that can hone in on a single mosquito flying through the air; a ½ inch crack in the side of a house is like a shining neon beacon to them. The first step in dealing with a bat infestation is to watch after sunset to see where the bat entrances to the home are, then sealing up all but one or two of them. Then install bat boxes, and plug the remaining entrances with paper after the bats have exited the building for the evening to prevent them from reentering the structure. Remove the temporary plugs in the evenings to allow any remaining individuals to escape, or have one-way exclusion devices installed.
There are several ways a professional bat abatement company can help. Look for a company who:
has years of experience finding all the tiny entrances bats use to enter and exit a structure, and in sealing up those gaps.
can quickly and efficiently clean up accumulated bat guano and urine, which poses a significant health risk if not dealt with properly.
uses only the most effective exclusion and removal techniques, in compliance with all state and local regulations.