Bat Exclusion Consumer Information
BatGuys takes great pride in being one of our area's leading bat exclusion companies. As a service to consumers we have put together a summary of wildlife regulations and licensing guidelines pertaining to bat exclusion services in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our intention is to educate consumers and provide them with important information to consider when choosing a bat exclusion contractor.
Choosing a Bat Specialist
Bats and bat exclusions are very specialized areas of wildlife control. Performing a successful bat exclusion is very tedious and detail-oriented work. Fairlure to treat the smallest area in a house or building will result in a totally ineffective job. Our best advice to consumers is to use a bat specialist. Whether it's BatGuys or another professional wildlife control company, we strongly recommend using a company whose primary focus is bats and bat exclusions.
In recent years, many pest control/exterminating companies have started offering bat exclusion services in addition to pest-spraying. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "Bat Exclusion Handbook." Every company has a different definition of a bat exclusion and no two companies' bat exclusions are ever the same. As a consumer, you could purchase a bat exclusion from two different companies and get two completely different jobs. This makes choosing a reputable company with a proven track record particularly important.
The old adage is true: you really do get what you pay for. When shopping for a bat exclusion contractor, you must consider the fact that a professional bat specialist will never be the cheapest option available to you. There are companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that off "discount" bat exclusions for a fraction of the cost of others. These "discount bat exclusions" are more often than not incomplete services and will come a short warranty if any. These are not complete bat exclusions. Every year our company deals with consumers who have purchased these discount services, only to have bats return to the house or attic. Sometimes their short warranty (30 days to 9 months) has expired and sometimes the company refuses to honor their warranty or won't return phone calls. Keepin mind that it sometimes takes a full year to realize that a bat exclusion has not been fully effective. By the time the warranty has expired and the consumer must pay for a complete exclusion again.
If you go through the phone book calling every company listed until you find the cheapest price, you will end up with one of these "discount" companies.
For this reason, we have provided the following checklist of questions to ask when purchasing bat exclusion services for your home or commercial building. Use these questions to ensure that you hire a professional and purchase an effective bat exclusion the first time.
Are the company's technicians properly licensed?
Make sure they're licensed. In Massachusetts, every bat exclusion technician is required to have a PAC (Problem Animal Control) license issued by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, as well as a trapping license. In Rhode Island, the technician must have a Scientific Collector's Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Management as well as a trapping license. Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island license individuals, not companies. Therefore, every technician must have his or her own personal license. There is no umbrella licensing.
The company must also possess a General Contractor's License or Home Improvement Contractor's License to perform any type of work on a residence or commercial building.
Does the company have adequate liability insurance?
You don't want to hire a company that isn't properly insured. Any reputable bat specialist will be able to show proof of at least $500,000 general liability coverage.
Can the company provide you with a list of references?
Any reputable bat specialist will be able to provide you with a list of both residential and commercial references as well as a portfolio of successful bat exclusions they have completed.
Will there be any visible sealants or screening when the job is complete?
When a bat exclusion is done properly it will be almost impossible to tell that it was even done. There shouldn't be any excess screening, dripping sealants or bubbling foam left on the building when the work is complete. Make sure the company you hire guarantees this.
How long is the duration of the bat exclusion warranty?
Depending on the condition of the building, a warranty on a bat exclusion service in our area should last between 1.5 and 3 years. Anything less than a year and a half does not justify the price, and anything longer than three years is simply not realistic. A few companies have been known to offer five-year warranties with bat exclusion services, but there are a lot of changes that take place on the roof of a building over that long a period: flashing, trim-boards, drip-edges and ridge vents all degrade and warp slightly with the changes of the seasons. These slight movements can allow bats to re-infest the house. Once a bat exclusion is in place, it needs to be inspected at least once every three years to ensure that no areas have opened up.
If a company offers a five-year warranty on a bat exclusion, ask yourself if they will still be in business in five years. Chances are they won't.
A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Choose a reputable bat specialist with a proven track record and a list of references.
Does the company belong to any professional industry organizations?
There are national and state-level wildlife control organizations that work hard to set proper guidelines for the bat exclusion industry. Make sure you hire a company that cares about the industry and belongs to these organizations.
Bat Conservation International is the world's leading authority on bats. BCI certifies companies that adhere to strict bat exclusion standards and stand behind their work. BatGuys is certified by BCI as are a few other reputable companies in our area.
MAPAC is the Massachusetts organization that promotes professionalism in the wildlife control industry. MAPAC works to obtain stronger written regulations and enforcement of these regulations in our state.
The National Wildlife Control Operators Association is a national wildlife control organization that promotes continuing education, competence and integrity in the industry.
Did the company give you an exact quote over the phone, without an inspection?
It is widely considered unprofessional to give a customer an exact quote over the phone without first performing an inspection of the building. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when pricing a bat exclusion job. If a company gives you an exact quote over the phone, it shows that they have no intention of providing a bat exclusion that is custom-tailored to your home or business.
Professional bat exclusion companies in our area will come out to do an inspection first. After the inspection you should be given an inspection report and a written quote.
Be wary of any company that will give you an exact quote over the phone or that will begin a bat exclusion without first conducting a thorough inspection of the house and attic.
Notes on Professionalism
- Did the technician explain the bat exclusion process clearly?
- Did they answer all of your questions?
- Did the technician have a neat appearance?
- Was he or she wearing a company shirt?
- Did they show up on time?
- Did they return your phone calls promptly?
- Did they drive a company vehicle with commercial plates?
- Were they patient and courteous during the inspection?
If you are hiring a professional, reliable company, the answer to each of those questions should be "Yes." The person that you hire to solve your bat problem should be a true bat expert. A bat expert should be able to explain every detail of the exclusion process and answer all of your questions in a confident manner. 90% of bat exclusion consumers have never even hear of a bat exclusion until they needed one. The person that you hire should guide you through every step of the process and always be available by phone to answer any questions or respond to any situations that may arise.