Is it a Good Idea to Relocate a Bat?
Let’s start by clearing the air. It is NOT a good idea to relocate a bat. It is a terrible idea thatcan lead to a series of unwanted consequences.
But isn’t trapping and relocating supposed to be the most humane way of handling wildanimals? True! It works well when dealing with animals like raccoons, skunks, opossums, and more. But when it comes to bats, you should neither trap nor relocate them. It just doesn’t work! This post explores some of the reasons relocating bats isn’t a good idea.
Strong Homing Instinct
Do you know that bats can find their way back to your attic even if relocated 500 miles away? This is not hard to imagine when you consider that some bat species do migrate for thousands of miles to warmer climates as winter sets in, and they always find their way back home after the cold passes away. So, if your attic or chimney is the perfect place for them to procreate or hibernate, a bat will find its way back.
What do you do if you have a bat colony living in your attic? Will you trap and relocate them also? Bats live in colonies that can be anywhere from 40 to thousands, even millions of bats. But not to worry, your attic cannot accommodate a million bats. But good luck with trying to capture and relocate hundreds of bats! Well, even if you could, they’ll return and you’ll be back to square one.
In some states in the United States, it is illegal to trap and relocate bats. However, in all states, it is illegal to kill or injure bats. By trying to catch a bat for relocation, you may unintentionally injure or kill it. If that happens, you will get into legal trouble, demanding you pay a hefty fine.
Bats are Good for The Ecosystem
The truth is relocating bats away will also be to your disadvantage. Bats are extremely important to the ecosystem in two major ways. First, some bat species help to keep the insect population from reaching astronomical numbers. A single bat can eat up to 600 mosquito-sized insects in an hour (3,000 per night). Bats are the reason your vicinity isn’t swarming with harmful bugs and insects. Second, other bat species help in the pollination of plants. Many of the fruits we love like mango and guava are pollinated by bats. Therefore, you only get rid of bats at your peril.
What Should You Do
We get it, having a bat colony roosting in your attic is a pain. From the constant noises to the countless droppings (guano), getting rid of them is a top priority. Here’s what you should do about it:
Exclusion: the most effective way of dealing with bats
At dusk, you first need to observe the holes the bats are escaping from in the attic. This gives off where the potential entry holes are located. Thereafter, all the potential entry holes are sealed with caulk or hardware cloth, except one. In this hole, an exclusion device is installed.
When the bats leave to feed at night, they will be unable to get back in. This forces them to look for another place to reside. Once you’ve confirmed no bats are remaining, you can then remove the device and seal up the last hole. Do not forget to decontaminate the infected space.
Bat Box: keeping bats around
While you might not want bats in your attic, you surely want them around because of their ecological importance. Bat boxes are artificial roosts for bats. They should be warm, dark, and placed, at least, 20 feet high. Wooden bat houses are easy to build and a safe roosting option for bats.
To recap, it is NOT a good idea to relocate bats. Even if you do, they’ll find their way back to your house because of their strong homing instinct. Moreover, bats are good to have around because of the role they play in maintaining ecological balance.