How to Get Rid of Bats?
As with any creature, bats flourish where there is shelter, an abundance of food, and very few predators. Bats tend to roost in quiet, dark, enclosed areas where they are unlikely to be disturbed by predators. Thus, caves, barns, sheds and attics are extremely attractive to bats. There are some bats that are prepared to leave themselves more exposed and so roost in trees and dense foliage.
Bats are the only mammal capable of flying. There are more than 1200 species of bats worldwide and the biggest being the Giant Golden Crowned Flying Fox (as shown above). The smallest bat in the world is the Kitti’s Hog-nosed bat, a.k.a the bumblebee bat and are found exclusively in western Thailand and Burma. It is found exclusively in the Philippines. Most of the time, when you have a bat in your house or premise, the most likely reason is that the bat is lost or hit something that made it lost its ability to navigate. Most of the time, bats can find their way home. If the bat stays, then you got a problem.
Bats need to roost in order to digest their meal. They also roost when they go into hibernation during the winter months, often roosting in groups so they can keep each other warm. Bats obviously prefer an enclosed space for the purpose of breeding, as female bats are able to roost with other mothers and create nursery colonies where baby bats are raised to be self-sufficient.
Bats are able to fit into relatively small spaces, and this means that no man-made structure is safe from their presence. You will find that bats roost in attics, storage sheds, bars, stables, chimneys, louvers, soffits, siding, eaves, shingles and roof tiles, as well as behind shutters.
Bats are generally timid creatures that go out of their way when they see us. If you do encounter a bat it is important to be careful, since some bats carry rabies and it is these infected bats, which could become so disoriented that they attack you. Thus, you should never handle a bat with your bare hands.
If you are bitten by a bat you may not even really notice it, as a bat bite is not usually painful. If you believe you have been bitten it is worth going to your doctor to get yourself tested for rabies. Even though rabies is extremely rare, there is always the possibility you could be infected if you have been bitten. In 1996, Australian scientist have discover a new strain of virus called Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) which can infect human when bitten or scratched by bats.
If a bat happens to find its way into your home, taking advantage of an open door or window, you should try to trap it in one room, so that it can’t end up roosting somewhere you can’t see. You can then concentrate your efforts on getting it out of the room. You might want to use a net to see if you can capture it and you should wear gloves, so that you won’t have to worry about being bitten when you pick it up to release it outside.
If you manage to catch the bat with your gloved hands or in a net, you should then put it into a container you can carry without worrying the creature could escape. You may find that a coffee can or shoebox does the trick. You may want to tape the container shut, although you need to create some air-holes for the creature to be able to breathe, and then release it away from the house. If somebody has been bitten it might be a good idea to take the bat inside the container with you to the doctor.
Leave it be
If, on the other hand, you’re too anxious to try to encourage the bat to leave the room or to make an effort to capture it, you may just have to be patient, as the bat will usually leave of its own accord, when it needs to feed.
What the law says?
If you have found a number of bats living in your property, you have to be careful, as in some areas it is illegal to disturb roosts or to trap bats. It therefore pays to check with your local authorities to find out what can be done about a bat problem.
When bats are present on your property and you don’t want them there, you need to ascertain where exactly they are roosting. This will require you to go outside and keep an eye on the sky, so that you can see where the bats are flocking to. You can then make a list of all the areas you believe the bats are roosting, so that you can check all of the structures for signs that bats have been living there in the daylight. You will usually notice that there are dark, pellet-droppings on the walls and dark smudges and stains.
A camp of bats
Once you know that bats are definitely roosting on your property you can either leave them be or call in an expert as a colony of bats posses higher risk than if it was just a single bat. The real danger is that you may accidentally inhaling their dried, powdered dung or guano, which may get you into some serious health complication.
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