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Bats

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Bats

When bats live in the walls or attics of buildings, their noises, odour and parasites create problems for people. Bats, however, are beneficial mammals that feed on night-flying insects such as moths, mosquitoes and beetles.

Diseases

Rabies: Bats can get rabies but rarely become aggressive. While only a small percentage of bats carry rabies, it is best to avoid handling bats. If a person is bitten by a bat, capture the bat and clean the wound immediately. The bitten person should seek immediate medical attention. You must capture the bat so tests can be done to determine if it has rabies.

Histoplasmosis: When cleaning up bat droppings, precautions must be taken to protect yourself from Histoplasmosis, a fungus which can be present in bat droppings and can produce a lung disease in people.

Control

Bats are protected by law in British Columbia. Control methods that harm or kill bats cannot be used.

Bat control should be limited to excluding bats from buildings. Bats can squeeze through very small openings so bat-proofing work must be very thorough. All openings and cracks wider than 6 mm need to be blocked.

6 mm Wire Mesh Used for Bat Proofing

A good time to do bat exclusion is between September and March, when bats are in their winter roosts in caves and mines. In the winter, there is no danger of trapping bats inside buildings.

One-way exclusion doors can be installed to allow bats to leave but not re-enter a building. They can only be used after the young are able to live on their own and are flying at night with the adults. These doors must not be used from late June to mid-August.

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