Bats don’t usually come into conflict with humans, preferring to stay outside and roost inside caves. They are actually a major benefit to us for the most part, as they are one of the primary mammals that eat insects of all kinds, keeping the number of insect pests down and helping to control their populations. However, there are a few scenarios where you could find yourself inside your home with a bat, putting our two species in conflict.
The first scenario you could find yourself in is being in your home when a lone bat flies inside. Individual bats are most likely to enter your home during evenings in the summer during mid-July and August. These bats that accidentally find themselves inside when they should be outside tend to be pups that are just starting to learn how to fly on their own. Thankfully, this situation is actually not too hard to deal with. These bats don’t want to be inside your house any more than you want them to be there. Once they find themselves inside, the bat will usually circle the room a few times searching for an exit. Therefore, the best way to get them out of your house is to let them find their own way out. Trying to chase it or swat at the bat will just make it panic and fly erratically around the room, making the process of getting them out take longer. Your best bet is to close all doors that lead into other rooms and confine the bat in a small area if possible. Then open all doors and windows leading outside, so the bat can find a way to exit your home on its own. Make sure all pets are in another area of your home, leave the lights on, and calmly wait for the bat to get its bearings and fly out of your home. Definitely don’t try to handle the bat with your bare hands, and don’t try to herd the bat towards an exit.
You could also find yourself with a whole group of bats roosting in your attic. There are two species of bats that have a tendency to roost inside people’s homes, the little brown bat and the big brown bat. Often referred to as “house bats,” they will roost in hot attics, the enclosed, heated space acting as a kind of incubator for their pups. This usually takes place during the summer, with the group disbanding and leaving sometime between late summer and early fall. These groups are called maternity colonies for obvious reasons. Extermination of these colonies is not necessary for their removal, however, as many people mistakenly tend to believe. A procedure called bat-proofing is a safe and effective method of removing the bat colony from your home. This basically involves sealing off any of the bat’s entrance holes to your home, and then providing the colony with an alternative roost (called a bat box) they can use. However, you should never perform this procedure between late May and mid-July, as the pups are confined to the roost until they can fly, so bat-proofing your house during this time could trap the pups inside your home.