How To Trap A Bat

10.02.2004 - What's the best way to trap a bat? It depends on the situation. If the bat is stuck inside the home and you merely want to get it out, then it's a simple matter - if you know where it is. If the bat is lying still somewhere, then simply take a tupperware container, place it over the bat, and slide a piece of paper or cardboard or something thin underneath, and trap the bat in between the paper and tupperware. Then you can carry it outside and let it go. Please do not kill it. Also, it's usually a better idea not to pick up the bat, because it might be rabid. Most cases of rabies infection from bats happen when people try to pick up a sick bat, and then get bitten. Rabid bats don't swoop out of the sky to bite your neck. They are sick animals, and they are found clambering or sitting still on the ground.

If the bat is flying around the room, in circles, or some sort of pattern, then you have two options. First, you can watch it and wait for it to land, and then remove it with the Tupperware method, or second, you can try to catch it on the wing, with a butterfly net or towel. This might be tricky. I've heard of people smacking such bats with a tennis racket, but that is unnecessary. It's not like killing a bug. If you kill a bat with a tennis racket, you're killing an animal that has or is meant to live ten years or more, and eat hundreds of thousands of insects. If you've spotted the bat in the house, but then cannot find it, you will have a heck of a time doing so. When they fly around, they're easy to see. When they land, they're small and brown and inconspicuous, and will often crawl behind some structure. They might land in the window curtains, behind the couch, or even behind a picture frame hung on the wall. You probably won't be able to find it. Your best bet is to wait for it to start flying again, and it will. If you want, you can set a bat trap by placing a bucket full of water in the room. The bat will be thirsty, and will fly for the water, and get stuck. I don't know though, it might drown, and I wouldn't like that. Oftentimes bats stuck in houses wind up in the toilet, because they are seeking water. They fly in and can't fly out.

If you have a colony of bats living in your attic, flying out every evening and back in every morning, and you want to know how to trap those bats, it's a different matter. A colony of bats should never be "trapped". It's probably illegal to do so in your state, and it's not effective. Once you trap them, what are you going to do? Relocate them elsewhere? They'll fly hundreds of miles in a matter of a few days to get back to your house. You certainly can't kill a colony of bats if you've trapped it. Plus, bat trapping is more difficult than doing it the right way: excluding the bats. If you've got bats in the house or attic, a professional bat removal specialist will identify and seal off all of the potential entry points into the building, but leave a few primary entry/exit spots open, and then install special one-way exclusion doors on those areas. This will allow all of the bats to get out, but never get back in. None are harmed, and the problem is solved. Plus, the environmentally beneficial bats may even find a nearby new place to live, and remain in the general geographical area. Though there's no guarantee of that. They may migrate to a new home far away. Regardless, there's no good way, or reason really, to trap a colony of bats. Click the below link if you need a professional in your area.

Oh, and this photo, by the way, is a nice shot of a good-looking Evening Bat, taken in Tampa Florida, on a bat project. I had sealed it out of its home, but it came by to roost near the area for a little while. Of course, I didn't trap any of the bats on this project. This one will hang out for a night or two, but since it needs a real place to live in, an open cavity, it will find a new home elsewhere.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Bats page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.

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