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Uninvited House Guests

Uninvited House Guests

Nothing like starting off your workday with one of these! Really gets your heart pumping! I caught a glimpse of a shadow in the early morning light. When I investigated the direction of the shadow, I saw it, lying peacefully on the floor of the bedroom. After the initial shock and panic, I grabbed a towel and threw it over the intruder. In my panic, I grabbed a boot from the closet and started pounding on the towel. To my horror, the bat crawled out from under the towel and slid under the bed. With superhuman strength, I dragged the bed out from the wall and there it came, soaring like an eagle. Wings outstretched, not making a sound. It was really impressive. After some early morning screaming, it landed, and I grabbed another towel and covered it. This time, I tucked in the towel as to prevent another escape. I knew all I had to do was gather up the towel and take it outside, but I just couldn’t. So yet again, I called my wonderful neighbors – at 6:30 in the morning. Without delay, Scott, my hero, came to my aid. He gathered the creature in the towel and took it outside, across the street, and freed it. Again, up it soared. Reluctantly happy to say – it wasn’t injured. Ok, so last month I had a wood spider the size of my hand – which Scott again captured. This month – a bat. What will it be next month?? I shudder to think. Here’s some interesting information I found on the Internet. 

Bats may be legally protected in certain states, so it is important to understand that anything beyond releasing the bats can be a violation of state law. (Again, glad I didn’t injure the bat). Local jurisdictions may also have rules about wildlife and they may specifically address bats.

If a bat comes into the house, it is usually accidental. Perhaps the bat has come from the attic and wandered into the living space by squeezing under a door to the attic. In warmer weather, bats may be attracted to homes after dark as the light attracts the bats, knowing that their food source – insects –  will be attracted to light as well.

Bats can be encouraged to leave a structure by turning off lights, turning on outside lights and providing a way for the bat to escape, such as by opening a door or window. This is very effective.

If a few strays are found in an area, the professional can pick them up with heavy gloves and relocate them. Bats should not be killed by the homeowner or the professional. There are no products available for bat control.

Most bats in buildings in West Virginia are either big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) or little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus). Although less common, northern long-eared bats (M. septentrionalis) and Indiana bats (M. sodalis) have also been documented in West Virginia.

What Not to Do – No lethal means can be used for bat control. If big-eared bats are encountered, consult with the WVDNR, Wildlife Diversity Unit. Big-eared bats are easily identified by the large ears (greater than one inch) and lumps on their noses. No glue boards or fly paper may be used in areas where bats are likely to encounter these items. Do not exclude bats when flightless young are present even if it is within the official safe dates.

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