ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Mating season ended, so young bats have been ending up in homes across the Twin Tiers, but if they get into your home they may be euthanized over fears of the coronavirus.
18 News set out to find out more on why these bats are getting euthanized, and what you should do if they end up in your home.
People may be seeing more bats in the house because young bats are inexperienced fliers and tend to follow drafts into homes, according to one Wildlife Removal Expert, Michelle Buchanan. She’s also the owner of her own pest control company called The Critter Chicks, a woman-owned wildlife removal business.
She says the main concern with a bat in the house is rabies from a bite but ensures less than 2% of bats come back positive with rabies in Chemung County.
“The overall recommendation right now, because of COVID and the pandemic, my direction through the DEC is that any bat I capture in a living space, I have to euthanize right now,” states Buchanan.
Buchanan said this is so that bats don’t infect colonies with the coronavirus after coming into contact with an infected human or their living space. That’s why she recommends calling professionals to handle bats amid the pandemic.
However, as a last resort, Buchanan said you can use very thick leather gloves and a container to catch a bat on your own in a home.