What to Do if You Find a Bat in Your Home

While a raccoon or squirrel is considered cute by some people, a bat is regarded more as a creature from one’s nightmares. What do you do if it flies into your home or crawls into your attic and becomes your upstairs neighbor? Do you start swinging a tennis racket or run outside and refuse to come back in? Bats are very common in Maryland, so a close encounter is rather possible. Here are a few tips from our Gaithersburg bat removal specialists to help you make a plan if you ever have to deal with a bat.

Don’t Panic

Although bats are known to carry rabies, not all bats are rabid. In fact, less than 1% of bats are infected with rabies. Unless you’ve encountered a bat that looks sick or is behaving erratically, you are probably dealing with a healthy bat. Bats, despite their menacing appearance, are extremely beneficial for the environment and don’t generally attack people. Stay calm and keep an eye on the bat to see where it came from and where it went. The bat doesn’t want to be in the same room as you just as much as you want it gone, so your fear is mutual.

Don’t be Violent

Bats are protected by law in most states, including Maryland. Some bats such as the Indiana Bat are endangered. As an average homeowner, you probably don’t know what kind of bat species you are dealing with. Even our Howard County bat removal specialists often need a closer look to correctly identify the species—that’s how similar they can look. Killing a bat, endangered or not, may get you in trouble with the Department of Natural Resources and is in most cases unnecessary.

Don’t Disturb the Bat

The law protects not just bats, but their habitat as well. By modifying or disturbing their habitat, you may kill the bats. For example, bats may choose your attic as a winter hibernation spot. When they hibernate, bats survive by using less energy and sparingly accessing their fat stores. Disturbing a hibernating bat will cause it to use more energy, which means it may not have enough fat left to make it to spring. That’s why it’s generally recommended to perform bat exclusion before the hibernation begins around mid-October. If bats are found in the attic during winter, it’s best to let them stay until spring.

Don’t Assume it’s Just One Bat

Although it’s possible for a single bat to roost on your porch or fly into your home by accident, bats typically live in colonies. If you see one bat coming out of your attic vent, assume there is probably at least 10 more that will follow. If you do encounter a lonely bat outside of your home, it’s probably just in-between places and will leave soon on its own.

Call a Professional

It’s never a good idea to handle bat removal yourself. Besides, the Maryland DNR requires a permit to conduct bat exclusion, and in some cases prior approval is also needed. The reason for this is that there are specific times of the year when bat removal should be done in order to make it the least stressful for bats. As a rule, bats with young that can’t fly, as well as bats mid hibernation shouldn’t be disturbed. Right now, however, is the perfect time to get rid of bats in your home, as the young has grown up and hibernation hasn’t started yet. Call Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control today if you need help with bat removal in Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Silver Spring or any other location in Maryland.