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BATS IN THE HOME

The presence of a bat in the home may be a sign that the house is not weather-tight. If so, appropriate measures should be taken to locate openings and seal them. The best way to remove a single bat from the home is not to panic, but simply open a window in the room. The bat usually will circle the room, using its "sonar," until it detects the open window and flies out on its own. If possible, stay in the room with the lights on and make sure the bat leaves. This should only take a few minutes. If the bat disappears in the room, it probably has landed behind a curtain or in some hidden nook or cranny. In this case again open a window, turn off the lights and isolate the bat by closing the door and blocking the space under the door with a towel. The bat should find its way out within an hour after dark as long as the weather is not too cold. Another method is to use leather gloves and simply pick up the bat. A bat should never be handled with bare hands because it may try to bite to protect itself.

One or two bats in the home may mean only that they came in through an open window. However, their presence could be a sign that a colony of bats has established a roost in a crawl space or attic. The attic is the most common area for bats to gather in colonies. An obvious sign that a bat colony has taken up residence is when bats are observed flying in and out of a hole in the house. If they become a nuisance, the only long-term solution is to "bat proof" the building.

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