The bats that are found in people’s houses are usually younger bats that have lost their way. They may also be adult bats that accidentally fly through an open window or door. The first step in removing a bat from your home is to stay calm. If the bat is flying around, it is not trying to attack anyone, it is only attempting to find a way out. Turn on the lights in the house so that you can easily see the bat and they can also see you (bats are not blind, nor afraid of the light). Next, close the doors to adjoining rooms to confine it to one room. Open any exterior doors and windows in the room the bat is flying around (more bats will not fly in). More than likely, the bat will just fly out the open door or window within a few minutes. Do not "chase" the bat out. It will think you are attempting to harm it ,and will take longer to find a way out.
If the bat does not fly out on its own, you can wait for it to land. Then gently capture it with heavy leather work gloves or a thick towel. You can also take a large can or plastic bowl and slowly walk up to the bat. (It may fly away, but it won't try to attack you.) Put the container over the bat, slip a piece of cardboard or magazine behind it. Take it outside and let it go. Never try to handle a bat with bare hands because, like other animals, it may bite to protect itself.
If anyone was bitten by the bat, or possibly transferred saliva from the bat to an open wound, their eyes, mouth, or nose, they need to seek medical attention immediately. In that case the bat will need to be saved so it can be tested to see if it has rabies. For more information on bats and rabies please visit the Centers for Disease Control website.
A single bat in a room may only mean that a bat has lost its way and ended up accidentally in your house. If you have more than one or two bats entering your home within a season, you may have bats living in your roof, eaves, or attic. If the bats become a nuisance, the only long term solution is to perform (or hire someone to perform) a bat exclusion. A bat exclusion is a non-lethal way of evicting bats from a building without harming them.
The time of year is an import factor in deciding whether to perform an exclusion. Exclusions should not be conducted from mid April through mid August. This is when mother bats are birthing and rearing their young. Performing exclusions during this time of year will create major problems for both the bats and the home owner. Young bats that are trapped inside will desperately try to get out and often find their way into the living areas of the home. Eventually, they will starve to death and may cause an odor or possible health problem. Furthermore, purposely causing animals to die of starvation or dehydration is a form of animal cruelty. For these reasons it is illegal to conduct a bat exclusion in Florida from April 16 through August 14. If you would like to learn more about conducting a bat exclusion click on the following hyperlink, or go to our website library and click on "How to conduct a bat exclusion."
Florida Bat Conservancy 1690 Pine Island Road Merritt Island, FL 32953 USA Phone: (727) 710-2287