Bats in Log Homes: Washington State Laws
Bats roosting in log homes is a somewhat common problem in the Pacific Northwest.
Bats roosting in log homes is a somewhat common problem in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve partnered with a Seattle eco pest control company, Parker Eco Pest Control, to learn about how to get rid of bats in your log home while following Washington State law.
Why Washington State protect bats
Some people might consider bats to be flying rodents but they are actually extremely beneficial for the environment. Much like bees, bats help pollinate. Bats also eat mosquitos, termites, and other pests that can damage your home. The ideal homeowner has a lot of bats around their home…just not inside their home.
It’s illegal to disturb baby bats
Baby bats, also known as bat pups, are protected by Washington State law to a greater degree than adult bats. Bats have small litters, usually just a single pup, so every baby counts towards their population. Development and densification in the Pacific Northwest are limiting their natural habitats inside of tree logs, caves, and other dark, protected places. Without a safe place to reproduce the bat populations suffer.
Many bat species in Washington States are not endangered but instead they are listed as “sensitive.” That classification means bat populations are continuously monitored in Washington state for viability. The Washington Bat Conservation Plan aims to “Safeguard bats from sources of mortality and disturbance.” Kicking a bunch of bat pups out of your attic would violate the conservation plan.
Why are there bats in my log home?
Chances are your log home has a few holes. Bats naturally seek out dark cavities for sleeping and breeding to evade predators. If you aren’t aware of any holes, start looking on the southern facing part of your roofline. Bats generally prefer southern exposure to stay toasty warm in the sun.
How do bats damage a log home?
Bat guano, also known as bat poop, is the number one reason bats damage log homes. Their poop can build up over time and become a very stinky mess that stains walls and ceilings. The chaos is nothing compared to what rats and mice might cause through chewing (pipes, electrical wires, insultation, etc.) but the poop still has the potential to cause permanent damage.
How to get bats out of the home
Timing is key since Washington State has restrictions on when you can disturb bats. If it’s summer (June – September) you’re out of luck. You risk separating pups from their parents, so the State requires that you wait until September when the pups can fly and fend for themselves. What if you simply close the holes up? Sorry, but Washington State won’t allow for that either. Again, you must wait until September so you don’t risk separating the babies stuck inside your attic from the mother outside.
Once you’ve got the timing right, here are the options for getting the bats out:
If your log home has been damaged by bats, call Madrona Log Homes for repairs.