Coexisting with Bats

 


   

Q:  What should I do if there's a bat in my house?

A:  Don't panic.  Bats have been plagued by centuries of superstitions, but they are actually one of nature's more gentle creatures.  If you are positive that the bat has not bitten anyone or been in anyone's bedroom overnight, confine the animal to one room and open a window or exterior door.  The flying bat will locate the opening by echolocation and fly out by nightfall. 

If the bat is not flying, check draperies or other places where the bat can hang easily.  Wear heavy gloves and capture the bat either by placing a shoebox over the bat and then gently sliding a piece of cardboard underneath, or by carefully putting a towel over the bat and carrying the bat outside for release (put the bat on a tree limb; they cannot fly up from the ground).  Avoid direct contact with the bat so you don't get bitten.  If the bat has bitten someone, contact your local health department for instructions.

 


Q:  What should I do if there are bats roosting in my attic?

A:  Bats enter buildings through holes under roof overhangs, in eaves, vents, cracks around windows, through spaces under ill-fitting boards, and around pipes leading into the house.  They can squeeze through openings as small as 1/2-inch wide, so when the bats are gone make sure to repair or patch all entry points which are usually discernable by oily stains.  To locate bat entry holes, watch at dusk to see where the bats fly out from.  DO NOT patch any holes from May to September or you may entrap flightless juvenile bats inside!  Please refer to Bat Conservation International for bat exclusion methods.