The Carolinas, and much of the eastern two thirds of the country, have bat colonies that can occasionally cause issues for homeowners. Not only can a stray bat blunder into buildings, but small colonies can set up homes in attics, under roof eaves, behind siding, and behind external shutters.
This often leads people to avoid adding features to their homes that could help them live more comfortably or improve the curb appeal of the house. However, it doesn't have to be that way. If you have wanted to add shutters to your home but have resisted them because bats could potentially roost behind the shutters, there are ways to bat-proof your home.
Shutters offer benefits that range from adding a nice cosmetic touch to helping control the home's internal climate. You shouldn't have to forgo these advantages because of something that can be prevented.
Why Bats Like Shutters
It's important to know why those bats like to fly behind shutters in order to stop them. Shutters, both decorative and operational, tend to sit close to the wall of the house. Decorative shutters do not move, and operational shutters often stay in the same spot for prolonged periods of time.
The typical space between the shutter and wall is big enough for bats to squeeze into, small enough to offer them protection from the environment and predators, and still enough to create a quiet, humid, warm pseudocave. So you'll need to change these three factors to repel the bats.
Bats Have Legal Rights
Before getting into how to repel bats, it's vital to note that depending on state and local law, bats that roost on or in your home may have legal rights. For example, in North Carolina, you can't remove bats during mating season if baby bats are in the nest.
So it would be illegal for you to have a bat service forcibly remove the bats at this point. It would also be foolhardy of you to try to evict them yourself as they can then move to other parts of your house - and they can carry diseases.
It's that last bit - disease - that really makes it important to keep the bats away in the first place. The good news is that for shutters, the tactics are simple and quick to put into effect.
How to Have Bat-Free Shutters
If possible, prevent the bats from getting behind the shutters. That means that when you have shutters installed, either seal the edges of the shutters against the house - perfect for decorative shutters that are immobile. Check the seal regularly and fix any tiny cracks you see forming.
Another option is to have the shutters installed so that, when open, they rest away from the wall of the house. Even when pushed against the house, the space between them and the wall should be at least a few inches wide. It should be enough to let wind, rain, cold air, and your average small animal to pass between the shutter and house.
That space will make the location very uncomfortable. Bats should seek out friendlier spaces, and there's something you can do to help that along.
As for the still environment, you'd combat that for decorative shutters by sealing the edges, but for mobile shutters, it takes more action. You should still install shutters with lots of space behind them, but also use the shutters more. Make them a non-stationary part of the home.
Be Nice to the Bats
If you want to attract the bats to somewhere else, you just need to install a bat box on your property. These are sturdy boxes with few openings that sit on tall poles. A bat removal company can help you place the box so that bats find it instead of your home.
Remember that there are other areas of your house that can attract bats, so shutters can't shoulder the blame. If you'd like to go ahead and install (and seal, if necessary) shutters, contact American Classic Shutters Make your house cute and comfortable, as well as bat-free.