Bats & Animal Control | Humane Rescue Alliance
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Bats are strange and amazing animals we do not often get a chance to see. Nocturnal and usually residing in high or dark places, bats are extremely useful to humans through their ability to consume a large amount of insects every day. Up to nine species of bats can be found in the District of Columbia, and some species can eat up to 600 mosquitos in an hour. Can you imagine what life would be like without bats to take care of so many of these blood-sucking insects?

Bat-human interactions do not occur often, but when they do, they can be stressful for both the bat and the human. Occasionally, a bat might make its way into a room in your house, or somehow wiggle his way down the chimney and into your living room. No need to panic. Bats are not typically aggressive, and you do not need to worry about a bat flying onto you purposefully. Keep close to the walls to avoid a collision with a bat during their U-shaped flight patterns.

Because bats are potential rabies carriers, we categorize encounters into three responces:

  1. If a bat has flown into your residence or business but has not come into contact with anyone, close all doors and windows leading further into the building, and open all doors and windows leading to the outside. Leave the bat alone allowing it the chance to find its way out.
  2. If the bat has come into contact with a pet or a member of your household, leave the building immediately, if safe to do so, and close all doors and windows to prevent the bat from leaving. This animal will need to be captured by Animal Care & Control and tested for rabies (202-576-6664). Please follow up with your physician or vet. Do NOT attempt to capture the animal yourself.
  3. If you are unsure as to whether or not a bat has come into contact with a pet or household member, contact Animal Care & Control to capture and test the bat for rabies. Sometimes bites or scratches from bats can be hardly noticeable.

In the case that you may have a family or colony of bats living in your attic, there are many exclusion techniques you can use in order to allow the colony to leave but unable to return.

  • Locate all points of entry into the area where they have taken up residence, and seal off all but one.
  • Once you have established a single main point of exit, you can use bird netting or flexible plastic strips with staples or duct tape over the last opening (leave the bottom open) to create a one-way exit. It will be easy to leave, and the bats will not be able to easily re-enter. 
  • You may also purchase a bat cone to install over the hole and prevent re-entry.
  • Once you are sure the colony has left the space, permanently repair the hole to prevent any animals from entering through that location. 

DC Animal Care & Control: 202-576-6664

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