It’s bat pup season! Do you know your bat and safety facts? See the helpful tips below to protect people and pets from a bat encounter while also protecting flightless bat pups from a needless death.
I just found out that I have bats! What do I do?
- DON’T freak out. Though less than 1% of natural bat populations have rabies, if a bat is found in a living space, safely contain the bat and call DHEC to determine if there have been any exposures, and have the bat tested for rabies if needed.
- DO find where bats are entering or exiting the structure. If they are in your attic, soffits or walls, make sure they can’t get into your living space. Hire an experienced wildlife control operator to help identify potential points of entry.
- DON’T perform exclusions from May to at least mid-July. Exclusion is the process of adult bats leaving a building through a device placed at entry/exit points that won’t allow them to re-enter. Doing so when pups are too young to fly may increase the likelihood of pups gaining entry to living spaces while desperately trying to find their mothers. This results in odor problems as the trapped pups starve to death in often inaccessible crevices.
- After July, the pups are old enough to fly, exclusions can more easily be done, and bat entry/exit points should be sealed.
- Early spring (March-April) and in the fall (August-October) is the best time of the year to exclude bats. See DHEC’s Prevent Bat Intrusion & Disruption resource page for helpful tips.
- DO learn more about the many ways bats benefit you. If you like coffee, tequila, rice or pecans, you can thank a bat. Bats provide $115 million in pest suppression services to South Carolina’s agricultural industry each year by consuming insects known to damage crops and forests, reducing the need for costly pesticides.
- Put up a bat box. See bat box resources from Bat Conservation International and Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation.
- Learn more about the 14 species of bats found in South Carolina by visiting SCDNR’s fact page found here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.