Barbara French, Bat Conservation International’s Science Officer, gets the same frantic call fairly often: “How do I get this bat out of my house?” Her first task is to calm the caller, reports The Times of Northwest Indiana. The newspaper, published in Munster, described the process under a headline that said, “Give Bats a (Gentle) Boot Back into the Night.”
“Bats,” the paper said, “are beset by bad press and luck.” Most of them, in fact, eat enormous amounts of insects, with a single little brown myotis consuming up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects per hours.
When a lone bat invades you home, French told The Times, it’s most likely “a lost youngster.” Bats don’t want to be in your living space and want nothing so much as getting out. “It’s always an accident when a bat gets into a living area,” she said.
Don’t touch the bat, but give it a route outside and encourage its departure. Shoo the kids and pets away and shut the door after them. If the bat’s flapping around, the paper says, follow it, shutting doors behind you until it retreats to one room. Open a window or door to the outside, stand patiently in a corner and wait for the stray to exit.
“The bat’s not going to try to get you,” French says. “It’s going to fly around and around until figure out how to get out.”
If the bat stays put or winds up in a windowless room, try the shoebox approach, the story says. Bats are rather easy to catch, so when it lands, simply cover it with a shoebox (or coffee can, cooking pot or similar container), slide a piece of cardboard underneath to cover the opening and take the whole thing outside to release the bat.