Bats are yet another fascinating and often misunderstood animal which call Long Island their home. Bats are the only mammal capable of real, or powered, flight. Almost all of our bats are insect eaters and they will emit high-frequency calls or sounds that hit objects and bounce back, giving the bat the ability to locate fast-moving insects on the fly. This is how the myth started that bats are blind. Not only are bats not blind, they actually have excellent vision. Bats will eat 50% of their body weight in insects each night, which makes them essential for the control of mosquitoes and other insects.
If you are Bitten or Otherwise "Exposed"
If you are bitten by a bat or otherwise exposed, do not release the bat. Contact your local health department for further instructions. In Suffolk County, this number is 631 853-6975.
Other types of exposure:
- saliva from a bat coming into contact with an open wound
- bat in the same room with a sleeping person, a child under the age of 5, or a person under the influence of alcohol.
Bats have tiny teeth and rarely can inflict a bite if you are wearing leather gloves. Wearing leather gloves, place a coffee can over the bat, slide a thin piece of cardboard over the opening, and place the whole thing gently in a pillowcase. Call us for advice.
Bats are very rarely found orphaned. Unless the babies are injured or sick, they should be left alone.
Bats in the House
Find out if an exposure has occurred (see above). If not, wearing leather gloves, place a coffee can over the bat, slide a piece of cardboard over the top and bring the bat outside. Release near a tree or other vertical surface. If bat is flying around, close off all other rooms, leave the lights on and open a door or window. Leave the area. When quiet, the bat will fly out.
Bats Roosting in Attic
Many people don't mind bats roosting in the attic. They very rarely enter the living area and are appreciated by many for their insect eating capability. However, if this is distasteful, find out where they are coming in. You can then purchase one-way doors that allow the bats out but don't allow them in. Do not attempt this during spring and summer months which is nesting season, or you will cause an orphan situation! You can also call a nuisance wildlife removal service and request non-lethal removal.
Bat Found Under Folded Patio Umbrella
Bats often spend the day sleeping under closed umbrellas. Many people don't mind this. Again, they eat a tremendous amount of mosquitoes each night. However, sometimes bat droppings accumulate on the table underneath the umbrella. If this is distasteful, gently open the umbrella about half way. At night, the bat will fly away and probably choose somewhere else to sleep.
Bat Found on Ground
Bats cannot become airborne when they are on a flat surface. They must be in a vertical position to fly. If it's near a tree, it should be able to crawl toward the tree and climb up it. If it appears to be in the middle of nowhere, wearing leather gloves, cover it with a coffee can, slide a piece of cardboard under the can and hold the can against a tree to release.