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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Is it Legal for Me to Trap a Bat?

Is it Legal for Me to Trap a Bat?

Is it legal to trap a bat? Usually the answer is a qualified “no.” In some places it depends on the type of bat. In parts of the Southeastern United States, where some 20 different species exist, three species are absolutely protected while the others are not. In some states, the answer depends on where the bat is found. It is almost always illegal to kill bats.



The reality is that while bats can be a nuisance -- for example building up piles of droppings (guano) in their roosting place, e.g. your attic, they’re actually doing a lot of good outside. They play a major role in preventing your property from swarms of mosquitoes and other bothersome bugs. So the solution is to keep them outside. Better for the bats and better for you.

Generally speaking, trapping bats is considered ineffective, inefficient and humane. Nevertheless, if you’re intent on trapping a bat that’s invaded your space there are some alternatives, usually recommend for a capture and release strategy.

Some outlets sell modified cage traps, small versions of the single- and double-door heavy-wire rectangles wildlife control use against foragers like raccoons. These are placed at the bat’s exit points, aimed at catching the bats when they come out to feed. Beside these wire traps, traps made of netting can also be useful when placed outside their exit/entry holes. The theory is the same.

A method that is even more discouraged than the others is the use of glue boards. As the name implies, boards are coated with sticky substances and placed near the roost, so that when a bat detaches from its cluster and walks around, its feet get stuck and hold the bat in place – often until it dies. Not only is this one-at-a-time method inefficient – roosts general comprise from 40- to several hundred animals-- dead bats can leave your attic with a noxious odor that can persist for a long time.

Exclusion is by far the best solution to bats in the house, but assuming that you’ve followed all the rules, what do you do once you’ve captured one or more of the critters? Answer: turn them loose and build or buy them a house to roost in so they stay around and keep up their bug-control program.

But if you’re thinking of relocating them, don’t be surprised if they come back. With their strong homing instincts, relocated colonies have been known to return from distances of 400 miles or more.

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