What I'm Seeing Now

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Are There Bats In Northern Virginia?

I can answer this question:  are there bats in Northern Virginia?

The answer is -- of course!

Our house is next to a pond.  During warmer weather we can sit on our deck near dusk and watch the bats, in large numbers, dart about enjoying the local mosquito feast.

And, as we sit, we are not bothered by mosquitoes!

About 20% of the mammals in the world are bats!  That's a lot of bats!

They have to live somewhere.  Where do they live?

Looking at the ledge on this condo balcony I could see evidence of bats.

It had rained recently and there was a lot of wind.

But still, some evidence remained!

See it?

One lone, little indicator.

Looking up I could see where they lived!

Shining my flashlight into the opening I could see directly up and into the attic space of the dormer above.

That is quite the nice spot for bats to live!  Lots of bats!

They only need a 1/4" slot to get in!  And this was a large enough space!

Fun bat notes:

  • They come from the order Chiroptera. 
  • There are Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera.
  • The small bats you usually see are Microchiroptera, or insect eaters.
  • Microbats use echolocation (a sort of radar) to locate food, lack the single claw at the edge of their wings and do not have fur.
  • There are between 40 and 50 species of bats in the United States, and they populate all 50 states.
  • They can live everywhere from trees, to caves, to crevices, to your house!
  • Microbat wings are much thinner than birds, allow them to navigate more quickly and sharply, and made of a membrane that can tear easily.  The wings also quickly repair themselves.
  • The wings have cells, similar to fingerprints, which each have a small hair which enables the bat to sensitively feel the air during flight to help with its flight accuracy and speed during echolocation.

While bats don't do damage to your house, like eating wood or chewing electric wires, they do poop and pee.  That in and of itself is reason enough not to want them living in your house.  Nearby is great, but the guano does carry diseases and it's best for them to live somewhere else!

My recommendation:  when you do see bat evidence at your house, look to see where they might be residing.  If you think it's inside your house, locate their point(s) of entrance and seal it up!  But having bat houses nearby to attract them will help you feel more comfortable as they are a wonderfully natural mosquito control!  Attracting bats to live nearby your house is a Best Practice!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 34 commentsJay Markanich • November 13 2013 01:58AM

Comments

I have heard about one occasionally making an appearance...and hoping that they...like other pests we have heard about...like warmer weather and don't migrate to the Badger state.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

They don't have to migrate S&D!  They are already there!  They even populate the Arctic regions.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay,

I can remember a time when one of them got into my house...and there wasn't a pest eliminator I could find to track it down and get rid of it. Eventually, the old tennis racket worked, but they are pretty hard to capture.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

I imagine that in flight they are quicker than you are Rich!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

I will have to tell my bat friends (who swoop near my house every evening) that they were featured!

I'll probably only get a squeek in return.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

We have a good time looking at them during the evening hours.  there are so many caves around this area where they can call home.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

They gotta live somewhere James!  There are a lot of them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Whenever we sat outside and had a campfire this summer, as soon as dusk arrived, so did a bat or two. I'm wondering now where they are hiding.

I have to admit, bats totally gross me out.  I hope we don't find they have been living in our eaves or something.  Ewwwwww.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 5 years ago

Kat - I think mosquitoes dislike them more than you do!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Oh yes, I see them at night lots of places.  When I was little, I think we had 2 or 3 behind one of the shutters and they got rid of them.  When I was in college in NH, we had a rental one summer and one got inside.  That was not fun.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago
The world is full of dingbats. Oh wait you are talking about bats in the belfry. Last year I stood on Congress Bridge in Austin and watched the bats take off at Sunset. They estimate there are about 1.5 million bats under the bridge. Very cool sight.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 5 years ago

We often see the flying around, certainly easier in that period between dusk to dark. Unlike that Tarantino move From Dusk to Dawn. I would agree that I would rather not have them living in my house.

Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

You want to talk about bats. WOW we have a lot of bats in this area as well. I like the bat house for them. They make some really good garden fertilizer as well.

Just don't get close enough to get bit by one of them.

Have a great day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

Jay, the molding might even be considered "intentional" for bats

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Jay, bats appear to be scary at times. They do help to keep the mosquito population down. We used to see them at the lake all the time.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 5 years ago

I see them all the time at my house. Maybe it is time to start looking around.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 5 years ago

Bats have been living in our barn for years. A little bat poop is the only issue. I know they are good for eating bugs so I leave them alone. Someday I plan to build some bat houses to attract more!

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) over 5 years ago

Yes to this post and the subject matter...I see them come out eagerly right before it gets dark and they fly like F-15's becasue that is what it takes to nail those bugs...Also, they tend not to bother anyone while living out there lives

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 5 years ago

Jay, we see them all the time in the evening swooping around. I didn't realize 1/4 inch was a large enough space for them to gain access. Yikes!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 5 years ago

Debbie - their unpredictability probably makes them a lot of fun inside the house!

Cindy - that must be some sight!  We only have a couple of dozen near us.

Aaron - that would be the timeframe!  Tarantino can't be right...

Clint - we just sit on the deck and they never bother us!  Not worried about the bites.  But I don't do mosquito impressions.

Charlie - that opening is quite a bit wider than the slits on those bat houses.

 

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Mike - they are there!  I bet lakes are their favorite areas to live.  They sure like our pond.

Bill - if they were inside you would see the opening and perhaps evidence inside.

Derrick Team - you probably can't have too many in your area!

Richie - they are quite a bit more agile than F-15s!

Tom - that's it!  If they can squish their head in the body easily follows.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Thanks for the bat info. Their amazing ability as aerial predators is cool to watch. Bats are our friends!

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) over 5 years ago

They are so long as they stay outside Marco!  Once I saw a zillion bats in an attic and the poop was many inches deep!  Really healthy place!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Glad you answered that so quickly in your post. I was like ???!!?!? umm hell yeah there are bats in N Va!!! lol

 

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) over 5 years ago

Jay - Some bats are protected species, so be careful when dealing with them, even in your home.  You may not be able to "evict" in the colder months when they are close to or hibernating.  Check with a licensed remediation firm to see if you might have to shack up 'til warmer weather.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Of course there are David.  I was being provocative!

AJ - I am certain 99.999% of us would have no idea which bat is protected and which is not.  I assure you that if a bat appeared in my house it would disappear as quick as I could make it happen and nobody would hear about it!  Nothing is worth the disease potential in our home.  But the microbats that we are so familiar with seeing shooting after mosquitoes are very common indeed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay = I  had some buyers interested in a home which had bats.  The seller had to hire a hazmat team to clean up the debris as they are considered toxic.. and fortunately, they were able to remedy the situation and the buyers move in and are enjoying their home.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 5 years ago

20% of mammals are bats? That's very interesting.  I once saw a bat event in the newspaper and thought it would be interesting to check out because it was local and it was different.  I was probably the only attendee who did not look like ZZ Top. It was interesting how all the batters/bat people/bat enthusiasts all looked alike! It was an interesting afternoon and I learned a lot about the important role that bats playin our eco-system. I am glad that I attended. You bring out some very interesting facts.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 5 years ago

Wow!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 5 years ago

Joan - I once went into the attic of an old house to find between one and two million bats there!  I really don't know the number, but it was a lot!  And the floor was inches deep in guano!  No kidding.

Lisa - you look much better without the ZZ Top look!  They are interesting animals, though a bit creepy.  The Creative Designer knew what He was doing.

Laura - see my comment to Joan above!  And thanks for stopping by!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Saw exactly the same thing on yesterday's inspection. One in a while I see the little critters sleeping in the gable vents while I'm inspecting the attic. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

I also see them in gable vents and try to get the women in the group to climb up and take a peek Jim.  The dormer in this photo could have houses hundreds of them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good post as usual. Don't see them very often, but when I do, I know the skeeters are not long for this world. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 5 years ago

I guess that whether you see them or not they are they Scott!  The skeetoes know!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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