Learn More About Bats in Austin TX
Texas residents know that our state is no stranger to bats. Millions of them make their home around Texas and the southwest U.S. Unfortunately, every so often you end up sharing your own home with a bat when they make their way onto your property. Finding a wild animal in your home can be startling, but having some background knowledge of the animal you’re dealing with can help you know how to proceed.
Health and Safety
Most bats do not actually have rabies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a testing of captured specimens only about 6% were shown to be rabid. However, it is still recommended that you seek medical attention if you are bitten by a bat.
Contrary to the popular phrase, “blind as a bat,” no species of bat is actually blind. Many species of bat actually have very good eyesight, and those with smaller eyes use a system called “echolocation,” which utilizes sound waves and echoes to help them navigate in the dark. Since they often live in habitats with very little light (like caves) and are awake at night, echolocation allows bats find food in total darkness.
About 40 percent of North American bats are in decline or are officially listed as an endangered species. It is actually illegal to kill bats in Texas, so if you have a bat problem in your home, call an animal removal specialist to have the bat humanely removed.
Bats do not attack people. The vast majority of people who come into direct contact with them do so by accident. Bats are usually afraid of humans and may accidentally fly into them in their effort to get away. They are not typically vicious towards people. Often when a bat swoops in close to where people are, it’s because it is are hunting nearby insects for food.
Bats typically find their way onto your property because they are looking for shelter and a place to roost. Attics, basements, and sheds tend to be popular places for bats to seek out because they are dark, quiet, and can provide them easy access to the outdoors. Pregnant bats might choose your home as a place to build a nest and raise young. However, don’t worry about bats having dozens of babies in your home the way mice do; mother bats only rear one young per year.
The majority of bats you’ll find in North America feed primarily on insects, but there are a few species around Texas that sustain themselves with fruit nectar. Furthermore, it’s a myth that vampire bats suck human blood. There are only three species of vampire bat in the world, and they mainly live in Mexico and South America. You won’t find any vampire bats in Texas!
If A Bat Enters Your Home
If you find a bat in your house or on your property, first and foremost do not attack it or attempt to handle it with your bare hands. As stated before, bats are not inherently aggressive towards humans, but they will defend themselves or their young if they feel threatened. For your own safety, it is best for you to call an animal exclusion service to have the bat humanely removed. Be sure to seal up all points of entry only after you are positive that there are no more wild animals on the premises.