What to do if you find a bat dwelling in your home

Bats are looking for a spot to overwinter this time of year
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:37 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - When Angela Stephens returned to her home in the Ozarks, she found an unlikely roommate hanging out in the living room: a bat.

These flying mammals play an important role in the environment and are protected species in Missouri and Arkansas.

“There is no hunting season on bats, they are what’s called a protected species. However, there is a provision of the wildlife code that says if an animal presents a threat to you or your property, you can dispose of that animal,” explained Francis Skalicky, a media specialist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Even though these creatures are usually harmless to humans, there are many reasons why bats should not get comfortable in your attic.

“Bats probably wouldn’t do a lot to harm your house in the way of structure or anything like that, but the big thing is they would leave bat droppings behind,” Skalicky said.

Bat feces is also known as guano. Over time, this can stain the floor or walls. The worst case scenario is inhaling the fumes can pose a health risk to your lungs.

So you found a bat. Now what?

“Open a window, open a door. But the short answer is, if you have access to calling experts, that’s what you need to do,” urged Skalicky.

But you shouldn’t stop there.

“The big thing that a homeowner needs to do is figure out how that bat got in, and if there is some type of hole it got in - block that out so a bat can’t reenter your house,” explained Skalicky.

That’s exactly what Angela Stephens did. Kennedy Wildlife came by and saved her from fear, but more importantly, it taught her about these incredible animals.

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