Bats are almost mystical creatures. Cultures around the world have connected them to the supernatural. Here in the United States, they’re used to evoke fear. Vampires turn into bats to stalk their prey. Batman uses bats to terrorize criminals. Scooby-doo has bats fly by to let you know that the team is hunting monsters. But then in elementary school you get taught about bats and learn that they are not scary at all.
And then coronavirus happened.
As many of us were taught throughout this crisis, bats are extremely high risk vectors of disease. Bats’ highly social natures mean that a bat infected with a transmittable disease will likely spread it to dozens, if not hundreds, of other bats. Bats ability to fly gives them an ability to move any diseases they carry vast distances. In particular, epidemiologists closely monitor bats for rabies. We’ve all been given a very harsh lesson in the dangers of humans interacting too closely with bats.
The good things you’ve heard about bats are still great though. Bats are excellent allies for biological pest control. A swarm of bats can dramatically cut the local mosquito population during a night of successful hunting. Bats also are very good at avoiding humans. A bat may swoop close, but their maneuverability and echolocation make bats easily able to pull away from human beings at the last minute. Their ability to detect human beings is so good that researchers have struggled to get them to land on humans at all.
If a bat has gotten into your house, or worse if dozens of bats have taken up roosting in your attic, you may be nervous to try and handle it yourself. That is a good instinct. Aside from the above risks, many species of bats are protected as endangered species. Injuring a bat in your home could lead to a fine. An expert can remove the bat in a way that is safe for you, the pest control expert, and the bat.