Prepare for bat roosting season now

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) – Homeowners should prepare for bats to roost in their homes now, according to wildlife officials.

Biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission ask that anyone who believes bats may be living in their homes relocate them responsibly before pup rearing season begins on May 1st.

The most obvious sign of bats living in your gable vents, behind a shutter, or in another nook inside or outside of your home is bat scat, also called guano, according to wildlife officials.

The Wildlife Resources Commission says if bats are getting inside your home, a licensed wildlife control agent can safely get them out for you.

Bats hibernate or migrate south during the winter, which is why people may only start to see them now, according to the commission.

Wildlife officials say bats are ecologically and economically valuable because they provide free pest control as they nearly devour their own body weight in insects every night. Bat’s appetites increase even more during pup-rearing season, which runs from May 1st to July 31st across North Carolina.

“Eviction methods rely on a bat’s ability to fly out of the roost, then measures are taken to prevent reentry,” Katherine Etchison, Wildlife Commission wildlife diversity biologist.

Officials say that if you are unable to remove bats from your home before rearing season, it is best to leave them in their roost until the end of July. Still, a wildlife control agent can seal off entryways to limit the possibility of anyone encountering a bat.

If a bat does enter your living space and exposure happens, you are advised to contact your county health department right away.

Wildlife officials add that bats return to the same roost each spring, so it is important to maintain your home after evicting them. More questions about interactions with bats should go to the commission’s North Carolina Wildlife Helpline.

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