Bats are common throughout Arlington. They are nocturnal and extremely beneficial to the environment. They help prevent damage to agricultural crops since they are insectivores and consume large amounts of moths. Since bats cannot fly from the ground, bats need to be placed in a tree or on a wall off of the ground so the bat can take flight.

Bats become an issue when they roost in attics or other structures used by people. They can enter through holes as small as a dime and pipes leading into the residence. Although the first thought would be to patch any holes, from May through August, you could actually trap juvenile bats inside which cannot fly yet.

The best way to evict bats from attics is by placing a one way door over the entry hole so they can exit but not reenter. Unlike popular belief, bats do not fly into human’s hair on purpose, they actually do swooping flight plans using sonar system trying to locate food which could mean a mosquito was close by. Although less than one percent of bats carry rabies, the State of Texas still has regulated laws for testing of the bats in cases where a human could have been exposed.

The best way to remove a bat that has ventured into your residence is to open all doors and windows to allow the bat access points to leave. Although bats may look harmless and small, they should not be handled. When a bat is on the ground or in an accessible location, citizens should call Arlington Animal Services for safe removal. It is common for the Red Bat to roost in branches on trees. Keep people away from the bat and it will leave the next night and roost in another location. The life expectancy of a bat can be over 20 years, but slow birth rates limit the population.

Reference sources: 911 Wildlife and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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