Preventing human/bat contact

The bat management plan should focus on preventing direct physical contact with bats. Direct contact includes touching, handling, or being bitten by a bat. Just seeing a bat is not considered direct contact.

Everyone—especially children—should be taught never to touch a bat or any other wild animal. Any bat that can be approached by people, especially a bat on the ground, is probably sick or injured.

The best way to prevent contact is to maintain bat-free buildings. Several measures can help prevent bats from entering facilities and establishing colonies:

  • Keep window screens in good repair.
  • Keep gymnasium doors closed during the early evening and early morning. Bats are foraging at these times and may inadvertently fly into the building to catch insects.
  • Screen all attic and soffit vents with ¼- to 1/6-inch hardware cloth or screen.
  • Seal all holes (dime size or larger) in the siding; gaps around gutters, pipes, fascia boards, and molding; and openings at other exterior penetration points. Use netting (1/6-inch mesh), caulk, foam, or concrete patch. Be very careful to confirm that bats are not present before closing any holes or gaps.

When buildings are being constructed, take steps to exclude bats:

  • Construct roof flashing and soffits so that bats cannot enter underneath these hard surfaces and then enter the building.
  • Ask neighbors whether a bat colony has been roosting in area trees or buildings; if so, workers can take extra precautions to exclude them.

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