October 30, 2015

Regulations to Follow when Bat-Proofing Your Home

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is required to update the lists of species classified as endangered, threatened, or of special concern at least every five years.  DEEP is also charged with administering regulations to monitor and control these species.  The most recent regulation, effective August 7, 2015, increased the number of bats classified as endangered, among others. 

Bats play a vital role in the functioning of our environment by controlling the insect population and pollinating plants and spreading their seeds.  In fact, many plant species rely on bats to pollinate their flowers and successfully produce fruits such as mangos, bananas, and guavas. 

One of the regulations implemented to control their preservation is a prohibition on the removal of their nests while they are roosting during the months of June and July.  Consequently, if a bat settles to roost in your attic, vent, or under roofing, do not disturb or remove it.  Bat habitats may only be altered annually after August 15.  DEEP offers suggestions for exclusion and bat proofing and they also provide a list of licensed nuisance wildlife control operators if you would rather hire a specialist.

Generally, bats do not enter the common areas of a dwelling.  If one happens to come through an open window or door, DEEP advises closing off the area and leaving the window or door open to permit their exit. DEEP offers additional information and bat proofing tips on its website.