Bat's in my Mom's attic

Just talked to Mom and the other day a bat was flying around in the living room. She reminded me that this happened once when I was about 10. So she called animal control, turns out there are about a dozen of them living up there, with babies. So they sealed off the attic so they can’t get into the house, and set up a trap door so when they go out they can’t get back in. You can’t kill them because they are protected, which I agree with, bats are like spiders, they are our friends. When the bats hibernate in the fall/winter, they can be taken out.

Wonder if they have been living up there for years?

At least it’s not the belfry.

Yeah, probably living up there for years and years. Back when I worked for a general contractor we were always finding bats in attics, usually in the form of mummified corpses on the floor. Roosting bats do their best to be inconspicuous.

Attics, roofs, sheds, etc. are all good roosting spots for bats.

When my sister had bats in her attic, the whole family had to get prophylactic rabies shots.


As did my brother and his wife last year, when a bat made its way into the bedroom.

Bats’ teeth are so sharp that it’s not unusual for rabies victims to not recall ever getting scratched or bitten.

And their poop is very dangerous and requires a professional to clean.

And yet, the majority of houses in most areas probably have bats in the attic or some such nook and cranny. If having a bat in the attic means everyone gets rabies shots we should all be getting them.

Which is different than a bat flitting about inside a house where people live and move around. Healthy bats in an attic just come in to sleep and hide during the day, then go out and do bat things at night. They don’t normally interact with people at all.

When we moved into this house 16 years ago, my husband found a dessicated bat carcass against one of the vent screens. None since. Whew!

We put up bat houses. Bats are prolific eaters of mosquitos, and are also a delight to see flitting about at dusk. I love the bats.

Baseball, or Cricket?

I used to vacation on an island that had a lot of bats. There were bats sleeping in half the cabins during the day, and also in the main house. In the evening weed watch them fly around a bit indoors before heading out to hunt.

Bats don’t bite people. I mean, I suppose vampire bats do, but they don’t live in the US. And anything will bite if you grab it. But I think fears about having been near a bat are grossly overblown.

Alas, white nose fungus killed all the bats on that island. I miss them.

Last time I checked, vampire bats (at the moment I’m too stunned that I managed to use the quote function properly to find a cite) fed on humans only extremely rarely. They do have a habit of going after outdoor livestock and such though. I recall seeing on a National Geographic episode that vampire bats lick the area before biting. The mule who was the target felt the licking, but not the actual bite.

Most bats are just terrified of humans. The risk is not that bats’ teeth are especially sharp. It’s that they are so tiny a human would likely not notice they have been bitten.

My bold. Me too. One summer evening, when we were still living in our previous house - maybe 20 years ago - we watched (and counted) bats flying out of a gap in our neighbor’s barge boards. We counted 150 of them, in little squads of 9 or 10, heading off into the night. It was fabulous, but we had to tell our neighbor, so I guess they got shut out eventually.


I forgot to say, I also love bats. I collect bat statues, puppets, action figures and plush toys. I’ve been to the world’s largest bat house in Gainesville Florida. I’ve got a BatSeeker 2 bat detector (It has a microphone that can hear ultrasonic noises and a speaker that chirps when it hears them). I find the average bat to be cute in the extreme.

I live in an apartment in a smallish city in the San Joaquin Valley. Next door is a two-story apartment building with a colony of bats in the attic. Every evening at about sunset they all come swarming out. There must be several hundred of them. I assume they head out toward the nearby San Joaquin River or Merced River for flying bugs. They mind their own business and don’t bother anybody.

I hate to imagine how much bat guano is accumulating in that attic. Someday the entire ceiling is going to collapse, guano and all, on the heads of the tenants below.

I think bats are fascinating critters too.

That said, they do on occasion bite or scratch people and can transmit rabies that way.

“People often know when they ve been bitten by a bat, but most types of bats have very small teeth which may leave marks that disappear quickly…If you are bitten by a bat — or if infectious material (such as saliva or brain material if it is killed) from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound — wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately. Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing…If you woke up because a bat landed on you while you were sleeping or if you awakened and found a bat in your room, you should try to safely capture the bat and have it tested. The same precautions should be used if you see a bat in a room with an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person.”

Personally, though I’m not an especially deep sleeper and don’t qualify as “impaired” so that I theoretically wouldn’t notice a bat bite, if I wake up and there’s a bat in my bedroom, I will 1) make every attempt to capture/kill that sucker and send him to the state health lab for testing. If it gets away, I’d have to think long and hard about getting prophylactic shots and immune globulin. You don’t mess around with rabies.

Rabid bats most certainly DO bite humans when they are in the rage stage of the virus. In Oregon bats are the number one reservoir for rabies with 9% of those tested since 2000 coming up positive for rabies.

Once you show any symptom of rabies you are 100% certainly dead. Protected or not, if it were me I would kill them all.

That stat is a bit misleading. That 9% represents bats there were tested because they bit a person or pet. The actual prevalence in the general bat population is much lower.

I expect this also includes bats that were captured in bedrooms and such but hadn’t necessarily bitten anyone.

The direct quote from the Oregon Public Health report (PDF) is “it represents bats that were
neurologically impaired enough to have bitten humans or their pets, and then to
have been captured.” A footnote says that evidence of a bite could be “a young child’s
waking up, crying, with a bat found in the room.” But without evidence of a bite, the animal is not tested by the Public Health Lab.