Don’t panic. Most situations can be handled by the homeowner. Bat Conservation International has step-by-step instructions for removing a single bat from your home. If you need to exclude a colony of bats from a structure, follow these guidelines based off of recommendations from BCI.
What time of year should you remove bats?
Bat exclusions should be avoided between April 1st and July 31st in Georgia. During this time of year, bat pups are too young to fly and may become trapped and die inside structures. If exclusions must be completed during this maternity period they must be completed by a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (see information below).
Have a bigger problem that you can’t handle alone?
You may need to hire a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator if you have a large number of bats, a difficult exclusion situation or if you need to exclude bats during the maternity season (April 1st–July 31st), when flightless young may be present.
This is our list of Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators. Trappers are listed by the counties where they are located. Many of these companies have more information online and serve many counties in the state. We suggest you search for companies in your area on the internet and then look for them on the list (or ask them if they are licensed by DNR to work in Georgia). We also suggest you get more than one estimate before you hire a company. Find Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators in your county.
A New Bat Exclusion Guide for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCOs)
A recent effort by the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) working group has resulted in a new guidance document, Acceptable Management Practices for Bat Control Activities in Structures in Georgia, A Guide for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators.
The purpose of this document is to provide consistent Acceptable Management Practices (AMPs) for nuisance wildlife control operators (NWCOs) to reduce impacts on bats during bat control or removal activities in structures. These guidelines were developed in concert among NWCOs, state and federal agencies, private conservation organizations, and the Centers for Disease Control in response to recent catastrophic population declines and changes to the protection status of many bat species due to white-nose syndrome (WNS). These AMPs are recommended for use with all structure-dwelling bat species, regardless of their conservation status.
This document is designed to provide minimum practices for safely addressing human-bat conflicts, while minimizing disturbance to bats and preventing the further spread of WNS. General background information is included on the significance of, threats to, and biology and behavior of bats in order to illustrate the context and justification for these standards.
Questions About Bats & Human Contact?
If you leave bats alone, they are harmless and very beneficial. However, if you pick up a bat, they are likely to bite. DO NOT handle bats. Very few bats carry rabies, but the disease is fatal so anyone who has contact with a bat should seek medical advice. The CDC provides information on when to seek medical attention.
Bat Conservation International also provides great information about Bats and Human Contact on their website.
Want to Provide a New Home for Bats?
Many people enjoy the natural pest control provided by bats but would prefer not to share their home with them. You can build or buy a bat house to give them a new place to go.
Bats in the belfry? What to do if you have bats in your house.