Brian Mulgrew, one of Wise Property Care’s senior surveyors, has something in common with the Prince of Wales - they both have a problem with bats. Unlike the Prince of Wales, Brian discovered his bat problem when renovating his property in Carmarthenshire, Brian still has to fix the problem for the property he visited for a damp and rot survey!
It can be an unexpected surprise however, lots of householders across Scotland and the UK have bats roosting in their loft or roof space. For many, it can be a wonderful experience however, when it comes to selling your property or having to do any building works or property maintenance such as rising damp and dry rot in areas where bats are roosting, it can cause a problem for a householder.
This was exactly the case when Brian Mulgrew visited a property in Thornhill, Stirlingshire to conduct a property survey. As soon as he entered the property, he noticed bats. Brian mentioned: "On entry to the property I noticed one bat hanging on the fireplace within the lounge area and assumed that it was a stray bat having lost it's way (this can happen). However, on further investigation I noticed another bat on the riser of the staircase and then noticed a further four bats hanging from the curtains within the next room. That was my cue to vacate the premises and call the bat conservation people".
Bats and the law
Bats and their roosts are protected by law. As bats tend to return to the same roosts every year, the roosts are protected whether bats are present or not. Thus it is illegal to kill, injure or take a wild bat, or intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost.
Our very own Brian Mulgrew commented: "Having bats in your roof does not mean a damp and rot survey cannot take place, but you will need to contact the right people and organisation(s) for their advice (which is free of charge) before you proceed, and then follow this help and advice".
Bats in your property?
Think you might have bats in your property? If so, check out the advice below courtesy of the Bats Conservation Trust of the things you should be aware of:
- Bats are not rodents, and will not nibble or gnaw at wood, wires or insulation.
- Bats do not build nests and therefore do not bring bedding material into the roost; neither do they bring their insect prey into the roost.
- All bats in the UK eat insects, so they are a great form of natural pest control! Their droppings are dry and do not putrefy, but crumble away to dust.
- Female bats usually have only one baby a year.
- Most bats are seasonal visitors to roosts in houses - they are unlikely to live in that roost all year round, although they are loyal to their roosts and so usually return to the same roosts year after year.
- The risk of catching bat rabies from UK bats is miniscule. Rabies is transmitted through a bite or a scratch from an infected bat, or by saliva from an infected bat getting into an existing cut or coming into contact with a person's mucus membranes. It is not spread through urine or faeces. Therefore you are at no risk if you do not handle bats. Learn more about bats and rabies.
For more information
For more information, contact your Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO) or the Bats Conservation Trust where you can find information about building and development with bats in your property.
Alternatively if you require a property survey then use the contact us webpage or call 0800 65 22 678 to book a survey.