On September 13, 2023

How to deal with bats in your house 

 

 Bats are everywhere!  It may feel that way to some of Vermont’s human residents.  Summer is when some species of bats gather in colonies, to raise their young in human-made structures such as houses, barns, office buildings, and bat houses but fall is the safe time to get them out.

 “Summer is the time of year when the greatest number of unwanted bat-human interactions are reported,” according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s Small Mammals Biologist Alyssa Bennett, who works on the conservation and recovery of Vermont’s threatened and endangered bat species.

 “Bats can end up in your living space for many reasons, including young bats that are weak, disoriented or lost while coming and going from the roost, bats moving within a structure to find warmer or cooler roosting space as temperatures fluctuate, and bats being displaced from their roosts due to building repairs and renovations,” Bennett said.

 Although this happens every year, it can come as quite a shock to those who wake up to a bat flying in their bedroom or suddenly uncover a dozen bats roosting behind a rotting trim board being removed on the outside of a home.  But don’t fear, because there are answers to your burning bat questions at  vtfishandwildlife.com using the search term “bats.”

 Living with wildlife means considering the health and wellbeing of both the public and these fragile wildlife species.  Although rarely detected in the general bat population, rabies is a deadly disease and should be taken very seriously. 

 If you are concerned that you have been in direct contact with a bat, have found a bat in a bedroom while sleeping or in a room with an unattended child, a pet, a person with a cognitive disability, or an intoxicated person, please call the Rabies Hotline at 800-4RABIES (1-800-472-2437). 

 If the hotline staff and or your health care providers determine there is no concern for rabies exposure, the bat can safely be released outside. 

“Living with wildlife doesn’t mean that we have to share our homes with bats in order to protect them,” said Bennett.  “Our main concerns are avoiding human contact by safeguarding the living space, evicting bats from structures safely, and providing alternative habitat for displaced bats.”

 Bat colonies are starting to disperse now that young bats can fly.  Fall is a good time of year to think about safely evicting bats from structures where they are not wanted by following the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Best Management Practices.  These practices are available on Fish and Wildlife’s website or by calling 802-353-4818 or emailing Alyssa.Bennett@vermont.gov, where you can also obtain a list of professionals who perform safe evictions. 

 Large colonies of bats living in structures can also be reported on the department’s website to help find rare colonies of endangered little brown bats, which are eligible for free bat houses.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

New plants available at Spring Plant Sale at Woodstock Union HS/MS Greenhouse

May 1, 2024
May 1-31—WOODSTOCK—The spring plant sale at the Woodstock Union HS/MS, 100 Amsden Way, Woodstock Greenhouse, will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on school days, with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Monday, May 6. Changes this year include sourcing all plants from a neonicotinoid-free nursery and featuring many native plants available this spring,…

Study: Vermont’s cigarette use has declined

April 10, 2024
Rates of vaping and use of flavored products by increased  Newly released data from the Dept. of Health on March 26 show that cigarette use among adult Vermonters is decreasing, but the number of adults who use e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, continues to rise. The 2022 Adult Tobacco Survey found that nearly one-quarter of…

Billings Farm & Museum Hosts 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition: A Celebration of Rural Artistry

April 3, 2024
WOODSTOCK—Billings Farm & Museum is bringing the rural artistry of barn quilts to our scenic site for the 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition from April 4 – December 1.  Barn quilting recreates the concept of quilt squares on durable mediums such as plywood. These squares, starting at 4 feet by 4 feet and up, feature striking…

The eclipses through Indigenous lenses

April 3, 2024
Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m.—BRANDON— Peggie “White Buffalo Moon” Rozell will speak about how Indigenous people have thought about eclipses at The Brandon Inn, 20 Park St., at 2 p.m. Sunday. Rozell is a member of the Abenaki and Cherokee people but will also talk about how Navajo, Iroquois and Mohawk people have considered…