What to Know
- The family had just welcomed its second child into the family after moving into the home when the bats arrived.
- Advanced Wildlife Removal estimated the bats numbered in the high hundreds to thousands.
- It's believed the bats returned to the home every summer for several years.
After a family moved into a Virginia house, they discovered they weren’t the only residents. They were sharing the home with a colony of bats.
When Kristen Bocka, her husband and their son moved from Pittsburgh to Fredericksburg to be closer to her mother, they were expecting their second child. They weren’t expecting other new residents.
“I gave birth on June 4, and the bats arrived the week that I brought my baby home,” Bocka said.
She said it sounded like her walls were alive, with scratching and growling all night long.
“Our walls were alive with activity, learning later that they were giving birth as well,” she said. “So the adult females were having babies in our walls.”
Baby bats dangled behind the siding; adults flew around the porch or napped behind the blinds.
“We had no idea how many we had,” Bocka said.
Paul Smith of Advanced Wildlife Removal offered an estimate.
“High hundreds to thousands,” he said. “Yeah, yeah, a lot.”
Bocka called four pest control companies. One estimated it would cost $16,000 to remove the bats.
She chose Advanced Wildlife Removal for its more reasonable price and seemingly humane approach.
“But in order to remove the bats and not have an ongoing issue, you have to seal up every gap a half-inch or larger on the house,” Smith said.
He believes bats had been returning to this home for several summers.
He said the home inspector should have thoroughly checked out the attic before Bocka closed.
“This definitely should have been noticed,” he said.
After sealing up the exposed exterior, Smith installed one-way tubes allowing the bats to fly out without getting back inside.
Once the bats left, they didn’t move too far, taking up residence in a neighbor’s house, which also has been sealed.
Eventually the last of the bats moved out, followed by a lengthy cleanup of the mess they left behind.
“The phone rings a lot,” Smith said. “So I’d say I probably get 20-25 calls a month for bats.”