Just in time for Halloween, you suddenly see a bat flitting around inside your home. There’s no need to break out garlic and a wooden stake. Here’s how to remove a bat from your house and how to prevent them from visiting you in the future.
Safely removing a bat from your house
Bats can carry diseases, including rabies, so must be careful when you try to show a bat the door. Never touch a bat with your bare hands. Wear gardening gloves instead.
To remove a bat from a room, first remove all pets from the area. (If your dog or cat grabs the bat, they’ll need a rabies booster shot.) Don’t swat at the bat on the ceiling; you’re more likely to smash a lamp than remove the bat. Instead, open a window or exterior door and try to coax the bat outside. If the bat resists your attempts, wait for it to alight on a wall or other flat surface. Cover it with a shoebox and slide a flat piece of cardboard beneath to trap the bat. Then carefully carry it outside. Since bats need to drop from a height to get airborne, empty the bat out of the box on an elevated surface such as a tree.
Because of the risk of rabies from a bat, it’s never a bad idea to contact a professional to remove one from your home. Call the animal control department of your city or county government, or find a home pest control specialist that handles wildlife removal.
Finding the entry point
A pest control specialist can also help you determine how the bat entered your home. It’s possible the bat flew in an open door or window. But bats can also get in through openings no bigger than a finger around your windows, door frames or an attic hatch. A pest control specialist can determine whether the bat was alone or was part of a colony. Bat colonies can fill spaces inside your attic, chimney, eaves and walls. They can even hide between gutters and a house’s fascia. Removing a colony is a job for a pro.
To prevent future entries, use caulk or form filler to close the entry space while the bats are out at night feasting on insects.
What if a bat bites you?
If a bat bites you or you come in contact with its saliva, contact your doctor immediately about whether you may need a vaccine against rabies. If you use the shoebox technique with a box that has air holes, you can keep the bat outside so it can be tested for rabies.
Related – Removing Wild Animals from Your Home