Lots of people wonder what to do if they encounter a bat in their home. First of all, it should be understood that no attempt should be made to catch or trap a bat but if you do find a bat in your home, then follow these steps to free the bat as safely as possible.
Why is There a Bat in Your Home?
There are many species of bats throughout America, such as big brown bats, Mexican free-tailed bats, Daubenton’s bats, and Silver-haired bats. However, it is rare to come across a bat in your home but it might occur if their bats roosting in a local building or in your attic and they have missed their entrance.
When it comes to bats that have taken up residence in your attic, you should first be aware of a few things. Bats in your home are either female bats or young bat pups. Female bats come to roost in your home and raise their pups, known as a female bat colony. As the bats become a little older they begin to fly but as they are inexperienced—a few mistakes may happen and that is the kind of bat you are likely to find in your home.
The young bat will be scared and the trick is to get the bat to safety without anyone or the bat becoming injured.
How to Free a Bat
So how do you get rid of bats? The first step to take is to get young children and pets away from the bat. Pets may attack a bat and this could result in your pet contracting a disease as well as serious injury.
The simplest way to deal with a bat in the home is to isolate the bat in one room, open the window, and switch off the lights. Leave the room for around 15 minutes and hopefully, the bat will find the window and exit safely.
If this method does not work, you could try another method. Wait for the bat to land on a low, flat surface and when it is safe to do so trap the bat with a box or jar. Wait for the bat to become a little less stressed and slide a piece of cardboard under the trap so that you can move the trapped bat to the outdoors for a safe release. You should always make sure that you wear heavy protective gloves when you attempt this as bats can carry serious diseases including rabies.
On occasion, you may find a bat that is sleeping, in which case you should wake it before releasing it. Simply tossing it out of the window will harm the bat. You can wake it by holding it in gloved hands for several minutes until the bat slowly wakes. It is best to release bats in the night time and if you find a bat in the winter hibernation months you should take it to a vet.
If you or your pet is bitten or scratched, you must seek medical attention immediately.
Preventing More Bats
After removing bats from your home, you will want to take some simple steps to make sure that a bat does not become trapped in your home again. Having a bat fly into your home may alert you to the fact that you have bats roosting in your attic.
As we explained earlier in the guide, the bats in your home are female bats and their pups. The females will stay in your attic tending to their litters until the bat pups have learned to fly successfully and are ready to hunt for themselves and able to withstand their winter hibernation.
You should never try to remove a bat colony from your attic during the summer months as not only is it illegal but it is inhumane. The bat pups will be left to starve and die and the corpses will become a health hazard attracting insect infestations.
Take a little time to monitor the bats as they exit your home at sunset and you can identify the entry points in your roof that the bats are using as an entrance. Wait until you see no more bats leaving or returning and then simply fill in the entry points you have identified with a quality sealant.
Simply sealing the holes will effectively solve your bat problem. Bats do not burrow or gnaw and will not be able to regain entry into your attic once the holes have been sealed. The bats will, however, return in the springtime and look for somewhere to nest again and rear a new generation of bat pups. Once the bats have all but gone, you need to clear away any bat droppings (bat guano) as this, too, can carry disease.
You could choose to repel further bats or build them a new home instead, known as a bat box or bat house. You should bear in mind that bats can make up an important part of your local ecosystem and they eat vast quantities of problem insects such as flies, midges, and mosquitoes. Therefore, putting up a bat house not too far from your home is not only good for the bats it makes sure that you won’t be pestered by bugs all summer long.