Is it a Good Idea to Trap a Bat in a Cage?

Having a bat infestation problem can be difficult. From constant chattering sounds to the noisome smell from their droppings, the only thought running through your mind is to get rid of them. In the kindness of your heart, you come up with a plan: Trap them in a cage and
then, relocate them. Sorry to burst your bubble, that plan is the perfect recipe for disaster. This post explores four major reasons why you should NEVER trap a bat in a cage.

It may be illegal
Some bat species are endangered, and so are protected by federal wildlife laws. And so, it is illegal to trap, injure, or kill them. States laws even protect bats and their habitats in several states, like Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Maryland. Depending on your local wildlife laws, trapping a bat can land you in legal troubles, with you having to pay hefty fines.

bat on branch; Relocate Bats

You may unintentionally injure or kill the bat
Once the bat gets captured in the cage, its instinct will drive it to fly away. As it tries to do it, it will continually hit its body on the cage. Many bat species are small, light, and delicate, so they may sustain serious injuries. Bats also have a high metabolism (a bat can eat up to 3,000 mosquito-sized insects per night). Staying in a cage for too long can cause them to starve or be dehydrated, which may kill them. They are also at risk of a heat stroke.
Risk of injury and diseases to you
Even if you’re able to successfully capture the nuisance bats, you still have to release them to the wild. When you do so, the bats may attack you. Bats carry a lot of zoonotic diseases like rabies and histoplasmosis, which can be lethal if left untreated. Furthermore, if your pet or child comes in contact with bats in a cage, it also places them at risk for these diseases.

Relocation problems
Even if you were able to release the bats into the wild without being bit, that’s not the end of your problems! Bats have a strong homing instinct and can return to your attic, even if they are relocated 500 miles away. So, unless you address the root of the problem, they’re very likely to return.

bat hanging in cage


So, there you have it, our four top reasons you should never trap bats. Although trapping bats might seem like a good-intentioned thing to do, at the end of the day, it’s inhumane. Instead of trapping, a better approach is to install an exclusion device. Exclusion is the most effective method of dealing with a bat infestation problem. It prevents the bat from getting back in once they leave to feed at night. Once all of them have exited, you can then seal the entry hole.
If you’re dealing with a bat colony, then it’s best to bring in bat removal experts to help you deal with the problem.