Don’t panic!


If bats are causing you any trouble, please do not take radical measures like killing all bats in your attic with guns, smoke or poison. It is important to remember that bats are wild animals protected by environmental laws in many countries. Furthermore, bats are very important to the environment. It is essential to contact a bat specialist, who can evaluate the situation and propose an adequate solution to your problem.

If you have been bitten by a bat, you have to wash the wound with running water and soap. Then go immediately to a hospital, and ask for a rabies serum. Bats, like all mammals, may transmit and die of rabies. Do not ever touch a wild animal without protection.

If bats are living in your attic, be careful with their feces. When feces of any animal accumulate in closed, dark, moist, and warm places, some pathogenic fungi may grow on them. There is a lung disease called ‘histoplasmosis’ that can be acquired in such places. In order to clean your attic, call some specialist or use proper protection, such as gloves, long clothes, glasses and a mask (with double carbon filter).

Bats may be also inconvenient to some people when they feed on fruits in your garden or orchard, because they defecate in flight and may ‘paint’ walls and floor. This kind of trouble is difficult to solve, and I can only recommend that people avoid having fruiting trees too close to their house, if they are not fond of bats. Keep fruiting trees on a distance of at least 10 or 20 m from your house, if you do not want to have bat or bird feces on your walls. Or use washable paint on your walls, what is much easier.

Do not try to keep bats as pets in captivity. It is very difficult to offer proper conditions for bats in artificial environments. And, most important, wild animals should be left in their habitats. Captivity is justified only for scientific research or education in zoos and universities, and must be managed by professionals.

Further information on how to deal with bat problems may be obtained in the sites of Bat Conservation International and The Bat Conservation Trust. If you live in Brazil, contact also people at SBEQ.