Protected by law, bats require special attention when roosting in attics, or flying inside your home.
Michigan residents should recognize that bat removal requires serious attention to detail, hazard awareness, and an understanding of the bats lifecycle. Maternity colonies, containing baby bats, are present from late May through July. During this time, the young bats cannot be evicted because they need to develop their flying ability. Timing of bat removal is crucial to prevent catastrophic effects to the bat colony or driving bats into living areas.
“Bats are protected by Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment,” said Dave Kugler, president, Critter Catchers Inc., a Michigan-based wildlife management firm specializing in humane bat removal. “Failing to follow the proper course of action when evicting bats from a home could subject a homeowner to more risk than initially anticipated. Conducting bat exclusions safely requires specialized equipment and a keen awareness to the unexpected hazards. We carry bee suits on our trucks when wasp infestations complicate the process. It’s not a do it yourself project – let wildlife experts handle the project.”
According to District Health Department #10, a Michigan resident died after contracting rabies from an untreated bat bite in 2009. This was the fist death related to rabies, in Michigan, in over 20 years. It is estimated that less than 1% of bats have rabies, and they die shortly after they contract the disease. After suspected exposures, the focus first must be on receiving prompt medical treatment and second having the colony evicted from your home to prevent future exposures. According to Oakland County Health division website, “if you wake up in a room with a bat present, regardless if there is evidence of a bite or scratch, seek medical attention. If at all possible trap the bat for rabies testing.”
“Bats are great neighbors. Just watch the skyline over any backyard at dusk, and you see the benefits of bats. They’re voracious insect-eaters,” Kugler added. “We can peacefully co-exist, but we need to keep them from roosting inside our homes.”