27 May 2009

From the Listserves: Bats!

by Chi Lui on Flickr

by Chi Lui on Flickr This is a Grey- headed Flying-fox, one of the largest bats in Australia. Bats on the Hill ARE NOT this big. Whew!!

I’ve heard rumor that one of my neighbors has a bat house. I think it’s a good idea.   They dine on mosquitoes and thanks to the standing water around my alley, my back yard seems a haven for the pesky bugs for most of the summer. I’ve thought of making my yard hospitable for them, and helping them homestead. It’s certainly better and probably more effective than a industrial sized bug zapper.

But then, there are the bats themselves, and the “Dracula effect.” In reality, they’re helpful, but they are also scary. Bram Stoker was on to something. It’s real, and a bat in your house is not what you want.

Amy in HillEast posted about finding a bat in her home, and asked for recommendations for how to capture it. Jennifer responded reminding Amy of the benefit of bats (they eat mosquitos). Ally brought up the issue of animal management and noted there are viable alternatives to killing an animal that has a real benefit to the neighborhood.

Amy did some research and determined bat bites can be quite small and easy to overlook. You can be bitten in your sleep without realizing it. “I was a bit surprised to hear that I should look into rabies shots because of this but apparently this is the view of the CDC. ”

Having already removed the bat from her house, Amy noted capturing it is probably the best bet.  “It’s probably easier to get a bat tested for rabies than to get rabies shots just in case.” DC Animal Control can also help.

Here are a few resources from Ally:
Organization for Bat Preservation
Professional Wildlife Removal
Trappro, Nuisance Wildlife removal

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