When we think of a bats environment we usually associate these creatures with caves, caverns, and dark forests. Busy cities and urban areas usually don't come to mind. However, these elusive creatures are making their homes in some of the most unthinkable places, and although they may not always be in plain sight, our flying neighbors are closer than you think.

What is a bat?

A Bat is a unique mammal able to sustain flight. Bats are not directly related to rodents or birds, but are commonly referred to as flying rats. A bat's diet, depending on the species, can consist of pollen, fruit, insects, nectar, blood, and some small mammals. Bats play a very vital role in our environment, by helping control the insect population, pollinating plants, and dispersing fruit seeds.

Sharing our environment with bats is important and beneficial, but also controversial. Although these creatures are an important part of our ecosystem, they can become unwelcomed guests when they are too close for comfort. When bats make their homes in urban areas they tend to look for dark warm places such as: under tiled roofing, inside chimney's, vents, rafters, and even hollow walls. Here are some tips for preventing bats from making your home their resting place.

  • Make sure crevices or cavities are sealed tight.
  • Small screens or wire mesh can be installed along tiled roofing, to prevent the access from underneath.
  • Check attics and crawl spaces for holes, and seal shut.
  • Adding fiberglass or rock wool insulation to wall spaces, may act as a deterrent.

What should you do if you see a bat in your home?

  • Contact your local animal control agency.
  • Do not try to touch or handle the bat.
  • Create as much light as possible in the area where the bat is located, this will cause it to retreat to a dark space.

If you happen to come in contact with a bat:

  • Contact your local animal control agency.
  • Bats can carry rabies and must be submitted for testing when contact is made with a human or animal.
  • Keep the bat in a confined area until animal control or a wildlife removal service can pick the bat up.