Bats can be terrifying pests due to their disease-carrying tendencies.
While they are typically harmless, you don’t want to get into contact with one when it starts flying haphazardly in your house.
Even though bats are unwanted visitors, you must not kill or injure them in the removal process. Read on to learn the correct ways to get rid of these pests.
Understanding Bat Behavior
Bats are nocturnal animals, meaning they are more active at night. You’ll rarely see them during the day unless you visit their sleeping area.
Between sunrise and sunset, bats become torpid, a state similar to hibernation. They become dormant due to decreased metabolism, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature.
Therefore, it’s improbable that you’ll find a bat flying during the day. If you spot one, it most likely will be lethargic and disoriented.
During torpidity, bats hang upside-down from points above the ground, like tree branches. When it comes to buildings, they hide in the attic and hang from walls and ceilings.
Bats sleep hanging to ease take-off since they can’t run to gain speed. They fly by letting go and flapping their wings before hitting the ground.
Removing a Bat from Your Apartment
Bats are excellent in finding the best places for their colonies to thrive. They like dark and dry spaces like the attic, and they can enter through an inch-wide opening.
Occasionally, a bat will lose its way and enter your living spaces. It can happen even if there are no bats in other parts of the building.
Follow these steps to remove a bat from your apartment safely.
Monitor the Bat’s Movements
If you find a bat in your living space, stay calm and watch its movements. We’ve discussed the health risks of whacking it to death.
Further, you won’t know where it goes if you run out of the room. You won’t tell whether it left or it’s still in the apartment.
A bat can hide in very constricted spaces. It can be under the bed, in your closet, behind the curtains, or anywhere else.
The danger of not knowing its whereabouts is that someone might grab it accidentally. When touched, its most likely reaction will be biting the individual in self-defense.
When you spot a bat, strive to confine it in a small section of the room. Lock the door and seal it with a towel at the base to prevent the bat from crawling out.
Determine If It Has Bitten Someone
As we have seen, bats may carry deadly viruses and pests. Therefore, it’s essential to examine all room occupants, including pets, for bat exposure.
Unfortunately, checking for bites isn’t effective because the animal doesn’t leave pronounced marks.
The Wildlife Damage Management (WDM) recommends that you should assume a bite occurred if:
- You find a bat flying in your room on waking up
- A bat is in the same room with an unattended child
- A bat is in a room with a person who can’t assess themselves for exposure
Essentially, you want to assume the worst whenever you have doubts.
What Happens After a Bat Exposure?
If you think someone has had a bat exposure, call your local health department immediately. It’s vital because many people who’ve acquired rabies from bats report not knowing about the bite.
Don’t smash the bat’s head since it will be necessary for rabies testing. Be sure to follow your state’s rabies protocols found at your local health department.
Remove the Bat
Animal control officers are the best suited to remove bats from your house. They have experience in handling wild animals and equipment for a quick capture-and-release.
If you wish to do it yourself, apply one of the following bat removal methods:
Utilize Air Flow
Close the doors and windows in the room with the bat except one. Stand in a corner out of the bat’s way and stay still.
Just like you don’t want the bat in your living spaces, it will also be looking for a way out. It might fly around for several minutes as it orients itself to the room.
Once it senses airflow from the open window, it will follow that path and fly away. Read on for alternatives when the bat doesn’t exit freely.
Bait the Bat with a Broom
The bat might fly until exhaustion before finding a way out of your apartment. Assuming it’s lying on the ground, place a broom gently on its body.
It will respond by turning around and grabbing and even biting the broom in self-defense. Carry the broom out of the house and shake it to set the bat free.
Alternatively, leave the broom outside for the bat to go at its pleasure.
Can the Bat
Another way to remove a bat that won’t fly away is by trapping it in a bin. You need to cover your body as much as possible to perform this operation.
Wear leather gloves, long pants, long sleeves, and shoes and socks. We’re trying to minimize the chance of a bite that might give you a terrible infection.
You can get pretty close to the bat during the day when the animal is torpid. The maneuver is also applicable when a bat is tired and disoriented after prolonged flying.
When in range, place a wide-mouth container over the bat to trap it. Slide a stiff piece of paper or cardboard between the floor and the can’s rim.
You should be able to capture the bat if you cover the bin’s mouth completely. Move it outside and tip it over to set the bat free.
Pick the Bat with a Gloved Hand
This bat removal method is the most dangerous. You need to have thick leather gloves and be careful in handling the bat.
Throw a towel over an inactive bat and grab it with your hands. Once you hold it, it might start squirming in protest and try to bite you.
That’s why you should have a thick and stiff pair of hand gloves. If the animal bites, you see a doctor and follow the necessary rabies protocols.
If you didn’t know the potential dangers of bat removal, now you know. You can contract severe viral diseases or serve jail time for mishandling the animal.
If you have a bat in your apartment, strive to minimize exposure as much as possible. Call animal control for help or choose the most suitable removal method from our list.
Why You Shouldn’t Hurt Bats
You can be quick to smack a bat to death to eliminate the nuisance. However, doing so is dangerous and can get you on the wrong side of the law.
Here are reasons why you shouldn’t kill or injure bats.
Bats Are Protected Species
Bat populations have decreased dramatically over the past few years due to the White-Nose Syndrome. The disease has killed over 80% of certain bat species, reducing their numbers by millions.
While bats aren’t the most attractive animals, the government has a reason to protect them. They eat colossal numbers of nuisance and disease-causing insects every year.
A considerable part of a typical bat’s diet includes mosquitoes and a host of farm pests. The animals contribute to better agricultural outcomes and outdoor enjoyment.
In the United States, possessing, injuring, or killing an endangered bat species is illegal. Violating this regulation can land you in jail for up to six months, plus fines.
Can you differentiate between an endangered and a non-endangered species? To be on the safe side, remove bats from your home without hurting them.
Bats Carry Dangerous Diseases
Bats are among the top animals in transmitting the rabies virus, which affects all mammals. The disease causes excessive drooling, aggression, refusal to eat or drink, paralysis, coma, and death.
The last thing you want is an infected bat to bite or scratch you. If it happens, you’ll only survive if you get a rabies jab before the symptoms show.
The CDC reports that bat exposure accounts for 70% of all rabies infections acquired in the United States.
Apart from rabies, researchers have associated bats with the following viruses:
- Ebola virus
- Menangle virus
- Tioman virus
- SARS-CoV-like viruses
Scientists believe that the coronavirus strain that brought about the COVID-19 pandemic originated from bats.
Another health problem you can get from bats is bat mite. When transferred to humans, the mites proliferate to form colonies that are hard to eliminate.
Bat mites cause an itchy rash that quickly jumps from a person to another. Like scabies, the condition requires medical attention.
Bat bugs infest your sleeping area like bed bugs, causing painful red bites.
Due to the many viruses and pests that bats host, be careful when removing a bat. You might get into contact with its blood, saliva, or fur and collect whatever disease it carries.
Dead Bats Ruin Your Buildings
If you have a bat colony, poisoning it could eliminate the problem quickly. However, we have already explained the ramifications of killing or injuring these animals.
Besides breaking the law, having dead bats in the attic can make your apartment uninhabitable. The bodies will rot and produce all sorts of odors, chasing your tenants away.
Additionally, the dead bodies will become food for insects. So, you will move from a bat problem to an insect infestation.
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