About This Program
MSU Bat Response Team is a project of the Bat Association of MSU (BAM). We offer a limited number of free bat exclusion services aimed at those who find professional services inaccessible. All our services will be provided by volunteers with the goal of providing our volunteers with experience in wildlife conservation and management while simultaneously providing an important public health service for communities in need.
We hope to provide around 5 bat exclusions per year, mostly in August and September, to individuals who can’t afford professional exclusions. The homes chosen for service will be based on scouting a number of residents and assessing them on a basis of achieve-ability and urgency.
We hope that through this program we can increase our understanding of local bat population sizes, species varieties, and hibernation patterns in and around the Lansing area.
Training for volunteers will be provided through an Orientation Session which will be held at on Saturday, May 5th and Saturday May 12th. Participants will have the opportunity to use bio-acoustic equipment, build and place bat houses, work with bat exclusion professionals at Creature Control, and educate the public about the ecological importance of bat populations. We also hope to pursue research projects in coordination with Creature Control to track the behavior and relocation of bats after an exclusion is done. This will help us to better understand the impact that exclusions are having on bat colonies.
We would like to stress that we are not a replacement for bat exclusion professionals and due to limited resources, we can only take on a certain number of exclusions per year. If you are an exclusion company servicing the Lansing area, please contact us at [email protected] so we can better coordinate our efforts.
As a free service, we also cannot guarantee that we will be able to schedule a visit in a timely manner and we do not guarantee that we can completely eliminate your contact with bats. But we will promise to do our best to exclude bats from your home and try to ensure the safety of you and your family.
As a project of BAM, we share the goal of wildlife conservation in conjunction with increasing general public health, safety and awareness of the ecological importance of native wildlife species to Michigan.
If you would like to be put on our waiting list for an evaluation, please fill out the form below and we will get in contact with you with an estimated timeline for our services. If you would like to participate in the volunteer program for summer 2018 click "Sign Up to Volunteer" button on the right.
Donations are always appreciated and a full outline of how your money is being used can always be accessed here!
It is important to understand that this is not a substitute for professional exclusion services and if you can afford these services, there are a wide variety of exclusion companies serving our area that will ensure complete removal of bats from your home.
As a free program run by volunteers, we heavily depend on donations to help pay for exclusion material, liability insurance, and travel costs. Any and all donations raised beyond the cost of the program will go toward the Bat Association of MSU to pay for bat houses, educational material, and speaker honorarium for student events. We really appreciate anything you can give to help our program continue!
What is a Bat Exclusion?
Bats are very common around the Lansing area, and the most common one is Eptesicus fuscus or the Big Brown Bat. The name Eptesicus is derived from the Egyptian word for "house flyer" which is indicative of where these bats are often found living. Many homes around Lansing and East Lansing are home to colonies of Big Brown Bats. While these bats play a crucial role in controlling our local insect population, they are often unwelcome guests in people's homes.
A "Bat Exclusion" is a humane method of removing these bats from your home, attempting to cause minimal stress to the colony, and hopefully providing them with a sustainable alternative to your home.
How does this work?
Step 1 in the process is getting a detailed history of where and when you are encountering bats in your home. For the most part, bats will stay in the attic of your home, but may make their way into the wall spaces if the attic becomes too hot or too cold. During the summer, the bats most often utilize attic space for raising their young in what is called a maternal colony, and during the winter they will utilize the attic to hibernate. If there are large openings that connect the wall spaces from the attic into the interior of your home, the bats can make their way through and end up in your living quarters. Even though these bats are called "Big Brown Bats", they can fit through an opening about the size of a quarter. We will make some suggestions on possible entry points that can be sealed in order to minimize the risk to the bat and to yourself until an exclusion can be done.
Step 2 will be to enter the attic space and look for signs of a colony and get an estimate of the colony size and type. The colony could be just a couple bats making their summer roost there, or it could be a maternal colony, using the space to raise their young.
Step 3 will be to make an assessment of the exterior of the house to look for likely entry and exit points.
All of this will be compiled and sent to you as a PDF.
Because bats are raising their young in the first part of the summer, an exclusion can only be performed in late summer to ensure the juvenile bats are big enough to fend for themselves. If your space is chosen for free service, we will schedule a date during this time to perform an exclusion.
Final Step - During the exclusion process, in the late part of summer, we will stake out the spots around your home that we suspect the bats are using to enter and exit. Usually this is loose siding, gable vents, or spaces around the soffit or chimney. Once we have a confirmation of the space they are using for access, we will install a one-way trap. This will allow the bats to leave, but not re-enter the home. In order to ensure all the bats have left, this will need to remain in place for 7 days.
After the bats have left, we will seal up the space so they cannot return.
We will place a bat house at a nearby location to provide the bats with an alternative to your attic that might better suit their needs, while reducing their contact with you and your family.