Is It Legal to Kill a Bat?

As a homeowner, you may eventually find yourself as the involuntary host to one or multiple bats in your walls or attic. The first logical question to ask is how do you humanely remove them? Can you simply kill a bat that invades your home?

The answer is no, you cannot kill a bat that has taken up residence in your home. Many bats are endangered species and are incredibly beneficial to the environment and are protected under federal law.

Why are bats protected?

 Though too many bats are simply a nuisance, they are integral parts to the local ecosystem. From pollination to insect control, bats serve a crucial role in our area.

Many species have landed themselves on the protected species list due to the proliferation of something called white-nose syndrome. Also called WNS, white-nose syndrome is a white fungal growth on the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats. Since 2017, it is estimated that upwards of 7 million insect-eating bats have died as a result of the fungus in the US and Canada.

Because of this drastic decrease in bat population over the recent years, many species have been put on protected lists to help preserve as many as possible.

What to do if you have bats in your home

 If you begin to suspect that bats have moved into your home, it may seem like a good idea to simply swat them out of the air or kill and dispose of them. There are problems with this approach, however:

  • As mentioned above, it is illegal to kill or intentionally harm a bat, with penalties including fines large enough to warrant a second mortgage on your home
  • If there is one at present, there’s a good chance that there’s an entire colony somewhere in your home, so harming only one bat is not only cruel, but it does nothing to improve the situation

Regardless of the situation, if you find a bat in your home, the best option is always to contact a local, humane wildlife removal company like Critter Control of West Palm Beach.

It’s easy to lump bats into the same group as rats, mice, squirrels, or other critters, but unlike them, bats are essential to a properly functioning ecosystem.

If you come across bats in your home, contact us as soon as possible at 561-274-0224.