BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Wildlife experts said now is the time of year when winged creatures typically begin flying south for the winter, including bats. Some, in search of warmth and shelter, make a home for themselves in rafters of homes and businesses.
“Typically bats…only need about a quarter of an inch gap on a structure,” said wildlife removal expert Carl Wilson, president of Extermiman Pest + Wildlife. “They will penetrate that and colonize.”
It may be one bat–it could be thousands.
Bat guano – or feces – can carry disease, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. It’s important, Wilson said, to take quick action if bats invade your home.
“We install what we call excluder devices that allow the bats to escape the structure and not re-enter. We typically leave those devices up for a week and then we come back, and we seal the openings to the structure,” Wilson said.
State officials said last month there were several bats that had tested positive for rabies. Earlier this week, students at Layton High School were exposed to a dead bat after hundreds, possibly thousands of the nocturnal creatures made a home in the school auditorium.
At West High School earlier this month, state health officials said a bat infestation led to rabies preventive treatment for at leat 41 students.
Bats that are flying around during daylight hours or that are resting on the ground could very likely be sick. Humans and house pets should be kept away from them, Assistant State Veterinarian Chelsea Crawford told ABC 4 Utah last month.
Wilson said if you have one or two bats, and if you feel comfortable, you can “shoo” them away after putting on gloves. However, he said it’s important to call in an expert any time you’re dealing with wild animals.
Never touch a bat with your bare hands, wildlife experts told ABC 4 Utah.