eaves and soffits, at cornices,
carriers of the disease, only a few human fatalities
louvers, and doors, next to
have been attributed to bat bites. Nevertheless, use
chimneys, windows, and anywhere
care when handling bats.
pipes or wiring enter.
Bat bites should be considered to be potential
Notice droppings under openings,
smudges around holes, and odors.
Because most bats will try to bite when
Bats can be observed at twilight as they leave the
handled, they should be picked up with
building to feed. The best time to observe the bats and
heavy gloves, forceps, or a stick.
pinpoint major exit and entry points is usually from
If a bat has bitten someone, it should be
just before to an hour after sunset.
captured without crushing its head.
Station one or more observers at
Refrigerate it (don't freeze it).
different sides of the building, looking
Then take it to the local Health
up towards the roof.
Department for testing.
The incidence of Histoplasmosis (discussed in
Listen for squeaking at the exits just
prior to the flight.
detail in the chapter on birds) being transmitted from
If the night is chilly or rainy, the bats may not
bat droppings to humans is not thought to be high.
When working in a bat roost site with
Location of roost.
lots of accumulated droppings, wear a
respirator and protective clothing and
Look inside in attics and unused rooms
follow the safety procedures outlined in
the chapter on birds.
Check inside the chimney and vents.
Bang on the walls and listen for squeaks
Habits of Bats
and scratches as roosting bats are
During warm weather, bats feed on flying insects
Check behind shutters.
in late afternoon, evening, and early morning. They
Look for bat droppings. They will be
are not active in bright daylight. If you see a bat at
found below roosting bats. The
this time it has either been disturbed from its daytime
droppings can be told from mouse
resting place or is sick. When not in flight, they rest
droppings, which they look like, but bat
in dark hiding and roosting sites (e.g., caves,
droppings contain wings, legs, and
buildings, hollow trees). Bats are able to enter these
other body parts of insects. Bat
places of refuge through holes as small as 3/8-inch.
droppings often accumulate to a depth
Bats capture flying insects by "echo-location.'
of several inches or more.
They emit high-frequency sound, inaudible to humans
In large roosts smell for bats. They
and similar to sonar. They also make audible
have a very pungent and penetrating
squeaking sounds, used for communication between
odor, musky and sweet, that comes
from rotting droppings and bat urine.
In much of the country, bats migrate or hibernate
when the weather turns cold. Sometimes they hibernate
in hanging clusters inside buildings. Depending on the
Control and Management of Bats
species and geographic location, they produce
Pesticides are unnecessary for bat control. The
offspring from late spring to midsummer. Young bats
best way of getting rid of bats roosting in a building is
grow rapidly and can fly in three to seven weeks.
Batproofing. Making a building "batproof' means
sealing or screening all of the openings used by the
Look for two things:
bats to enter a building. It can be a difficult job
entry and exit points of the bats, and
because, in many cases, all upper openings 3/8 inch
the location of the roost.
and larger must be sealed, but this is the only
permanent method of ridding a building of bats.
Entry and exit points. A building in poor repair
Be sure their are no bats inside before the
will have seemingly unlimited entry points.
building is sealed. Bats trapped inside may be even
Look for loose flashing, vents, shingles,
more of a problem than before.
or siding that bats can squeeze through.
June and July are peak months for bat complaints
Look for damage and openings under
in much of the country. Unfortunately, this is the
Module Three Chapter 5, Pg 2