Bats are beneficial mammals that consume many times their weight in pesky insects every night. Bats only weigh a couple of ounces and are generally tiny. They can squeeze through small openings in the home and can colonize attics, chimneys and eaves. While the bats are generally not destructive, they may carry diseases such as rabies and the emissions from a large colony can cause strong, unpleasant smells as well as health problems. Sometimes, a bat may become disoriented and wind up inside your home, hanging upside down from the curtains or flying around as it tries to find an escape route. Unless it bites someone in the household, capture the bat and release it outdoors.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy gloves
- Empty cardboard box or coffee can
- Stiff paper or thin, flat cardboard sheet
Remove all people and pets from the room or area of the home the bat is in and open all windows. Leave the area, closing the door behind you, and give the bat a chance to find its own way out of the house. Stay out of the area for an hour or two, at least.
Put the gloves on and take the broom with you to the room where the bat is, making sure to close the door as soon as you enter. Guide the bat toward an open window by holding the broom up to stop the bat if it flies toward the interior of the room. The bat will use its sonar to avoid the broom and go the other way. Do not swat at the bat, because this will only confuse and frighten it further. Try to hold the broom up so that the bat will see it as solid and reverse direction toward the open window.
Catch the bat in your gloved, never bare, hands if it still cannot find its way out the window. Give the bat time to calm down and settle someplace, then approach it slowly and gently pick it up with your gloved hand. The bat may squirm and squeal, but if you hold it carefully, it is simply protesting, not injured. Take the bat outside, away from the house, and release it.
Use the cardboard box or empty coffee can to cover the bat if you do not wish to pick it up in your hand. Be careful to trap the bat against the wall, curtain or furniture without squashing the bat. Once the bat is trapped beneath the container, slowly and carefully slide the stiff piece of paper or thin cardboard between the container and the surface to which the bat is clinging.
Ease the container away from the surface, being careful to hold the stiff piece of paper or cardboard over the open end of the container. Hold the cover over the container firmly to keep the bat trapped and take the container outside and away from the house. Remove the cover to release the bat.
- Photo Credit Anup Shah/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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