Most people that I speak to in Toronto are surprised to hear that bats are currently living in the city. They have heard about bats living in the great outdoors of cottage country, be it in Muskoka, Georgian Bay, the Kawarthas, Prince Edward County, or Lake Huron. But in Toronto or other large cities, they have never seen a bat and assume they aren’t present.
What most people don’t realize is most bats are mistakenly identified as birds seen flying in the evening around dusk. They can be easily identified by their irregular flight patterns, as they dart this way and that catching their nightly meal.
“But where do the bats live?” You might find yourself asking, but they can be found in any number of places across the city. The most common place to find them is in man-made structures that aren’t animal-proof. All a bat needs to gain entry to a home or building is a gap 1/4 of an inch wide. With this kind of flexibility, you can imagine that there are many doors to be found in most structures that provide ideal protection from the elements.
Although we don’t want them living in our homes, we definitely want these amazing animals in our cities to help control the insects, particularly mosquitos. Apart from mosquitos carrying West Nile and other diseases, they can ruin even the best of barbecues, when party-goers are swarmed and forced indoors. This is why we work so hard to humanely relocate bats to our bat houses and other natural roosts, keep them close by to continue to benefit from their presence.
If you are interested in seeing bats at night, a good place to look is near street lights where there are lots of insects such as moths, beetles, and yes, mosquitos.
Look for the oddly flying birds!
Typical holes created by bad trades people and wildlife
Maintenance, or lack of it, is one of the largest reasons why animals are able to find their way into your home. Presently, we are working a building in Toronto, where very little building maintenance has been done in the past ten years.
Mortar has fallen out, flashing is popping out of place, caulking has dried out, shingles have blown off and eve troughs blocked and in disrepair. Now this GTA building is having all sort of problems animals like with raccoons, mice, bats, and insects. There are even several places where rain and the elements are entering the walls and roof.
This photo shows a rotting board that was replaced by “a handyman”with a board of the wrong size. On top of that, it was never properly sealed. With a little bit of chewing by the raccoons, the hole was easily made larger, providing them with a front door to a lovely sheltered home in the fascia and soffit. These holes also provided easy access for the other pests that are plaguing the building.
Our job on this home will be to seal all of the holes and exclude the raccoons and bats. The mice will be trapped, and ensure that rain water can not enter the building.
For property owners looking to avoid similar issues, it would be wise to have an inspection on their building at least once a year to ensure there are no problems and protect their investment. It is also important to make sure that any repairs done by construction professionals are inspected to ensure that problems aren’t aggravated instead of resolved.
If you have recently had work done on your property and are hoping to find out whether or not it can withstand the animals, I am always available for inspections.