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Copyright Paul Buchel
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Are there bats in the roof?

The first step is to find out whether bats are actually present. Frequently householders hear noises in the roof and believe they have bats. Often these noises turn out to be caused by rats or birds. Bats may have been seen flying around outside the house and it is assumed they came from the roof. In other cases, a previously known bat colony may have moved away or even been inadvertently poisoned. To confirm whether bats are present in a roof, follow this simple procedure:

        Check for the presence of bats by listening for their chittering noises in the roof. Shining a torch on areas where bats are likely to be hiding may help to elicit a response; note that some of the smaller bats hide in crevices and will not be seen during the day;

        Always look out for tell-tale piles of scattered bat guano (droppings). Bat droppings are irregularly-shaped and not pointed at each end like a rodent dropping; they do not have the white uric acid tips characteristics of gecko or bird droppings. They also crumble easily into fine chitinous insect parts.

As a rule, bat colonies in roofs are localized in one area, although bats roosting between the tiles and roof lining may sometimes be more widespread. In most cases, bats seem to roost close to where they emerge and enter the roof, but some colonies will crawl some distance between their preferred roost site, and the point of emergence. The first and favourite place to look for a bat colony is on the gable apex wall, often tucked up between the brick wall and rafters. Piles of droppings at the base of the gable apex are usually the first sign of such a colony. Other common roost sites are above the eaves, on top of the ridge beam and other rafters, underneath the ridge tile, between tiles, and in broken air vents.

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