‘Don’t worry’ bats may be in your NC home, says wildlife expert. How to get them out.
North Carolina biologists say bats may be in your home, and time is ticking to safely get them out.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says bats hibernate or migrate south during the winter, which is why you may start to see them now.
If you do have a bat hiding in your home, you need to get it out before pup-rearing season, which begins May 1. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the end of summer.
“Bats can get in anywhere that’s like a quarter inch by quarter inch. They can get into really small holes. They won’t chew their way in or scratch their way in or anything like that but they can in even really small spaces but typically we see them in attics,” Allison Medford, wildlife diversity biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, told The Charlotte Observer.
Experts say bat poop, called guano, is the most telling sign of a bat hiding in your home, but experts say it’s not something to worry about.
“If you do have bats in your attic and they’re not in the living space and they’re not coming into contact with the people living in the house, it’s not a dire emergency,” Medford explained. “Don’t fear. Don’t worry. It’ll all get taken care of.”
How to get bats out of your home
Medford says prevention is the best way to keep bats out of your home. So make sure any open spaces, like an attic or gable vent, aren’t accessible from the outside.
To get them out, you can call a licensed Wildlife Control Agent to take care of it. You can find a list of licensed professionals on the Wildlife Commission’s website. To get it out yourself, Medford advises you should make sure your skin is completely covered to avoid the risk of getting bitten.
If you can’t remove bats from your home before what is known as pup-rearing season, which begins May 1, it is best to leave them alone until the end of July.
“Eviction methods rely on a bat’s ability to fly out of the roost, then measures are taken to prevent reentry, said Katherine Etchison, wildlife diversity biologist,” told the Observer. “Young bats are initially flightless and are totally dependent on their mothers, so when adult bats are evicted, the young perish because they can’t yet leave the roost or survive on their own.
“To make matters worse, mother bats may end up in the living space of a building trying to seek alternate ways to get to their pups. By August 1, young bats are mature enough to fly, so eviction methods are safe to resume at that point.”
If you have a bat hiding in your home during this time, a wildlife control agent can seal off entryways to your home’s living spaces
“It’s typically not an emergency,” Medford explains. “The only time when dealing with a bat is an emergency is if it’s in the living area. If it’s not, it’s okay. They’re not going to cause that much damage and they’re not going to be that much of an issue if they’re just in your attic over the summer.”