IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - They come out after sunset in the summertime, swooping through the backyard hunting for moths, flies, beetles, spiders, crickets and other insects. That is all okay. But what if you find a bat trapped inside your home? First, stay calm.
Many people assume bats carry rabies, that is, spreading the disease without ever becoming sick themselves. However, although bats can transmit rabies if infected (typically through a bite), only about one-tenth of one percent of bats ever contract the disease, and when they do, they eventually become sick and die. But that doesn’t mean you should handle a bat carelessly.
The most important thing is to keep both you and the bat safe because bats are a valuable part of our environment and are legally protected in Idaho. Bats provide free pest control by consuming insects that damage crops, saving U.S. farmers over $3 billion annually. A single individual of the bat species known as Little Brown Myotis can consume up to 600 mosquito-sized insects per hour!
So what should you do about that bat in your home? Idaho Fish and Game has a short video on how to safely remove a bat to protect both you and the bat.