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May 6, 2016
We know bats play an incredibly important role in our environment, from naturally controlling insects to helping to pollinate our plants. Occasionally, we might find a bat flying inside the house or roosting in our attic or crawlspace. First and foremost, don’t panic!
If you find a bat flying around your house, chances are good the bat is trying to find a way out. The best way to help is to open a door or window and dim the lights, and if at all possible, isolate the bat in a single room. Eventually the bat will find the opening and free itself.
If this doesn’t work, find a pair of thick work gloves and wait for the critter to land on a curtain or piece of furniture. Carefully cupping the bat with the gloves and quickly getting it outside will minimize any harm done to the bat.
For bats roosting inside your home, there are some issues worth considering. Bats are mammals and give birth around mid-June. The young do not begin to fly until late July. It is not recommended taking any action in removing roosting bats during this time so that the babies are not harmed.
Bats commonly enter the house through the flashing around the chimney, attic vents, or any other section of home that might have deteriorated. At dusk, when the bats emerge to start feeding, watch around the house to see where they might be coming from.
Once the opening has been found, it can be repaired. Usually, the best time to do this is late fall or during the winter when the bats have found a cave or mine for their winter hibernation. If you take on these repairs while you think there might be a chance bats remain inside your house, create a temporary one-way exit so once the bat has flown out, it is unable to re-enter. There are several companies statewide the help with pest control, so if in doubt, give the experts a call.
Not every bat carries rabies, but if there is a possibility that a bat has bitten someone or a pet, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the bat be tested for rabies. Contact your local animal control agency about this.
Phoebe C, Waterville
Bo, Thanks for your note. Nice to know you're thinking of me. I am very satisfied with everything you did. My oil consumption is down from the previous year, but I have not yet figured exactly what the numbers are. I will let you know. No water in my basement during the rain these past couple of days. Hopefully that will hold up during a heavy downpour. Stay well and enjoy these warming temperatures.