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a bat hanging around in the house

When I moved into a bigger house, I found it had bats flying about indoors. Fortunately this was in Panama and not the UK. If it had been in the UK, it would have been a disaster, as bats are protected to the level where you as the owner can be evicted from your own house if you have bats living there.

In Panama, bats only have the same level of protection as mice, so they can be ousted if the owner wants them to be.

Having bats living in the house is a bit off-putting for visitors, but having bats has an advantage that they eat mosquitoes. They are not vampire bats, but mosquitoes are a vampiric insect, so the bats are in a way "vampire-slaying bats".

I intend to evict the bats without harming them. They will have to find somewhere else in the jungle to roost. There is a good reason I don't want bats in the house. They are not house-trained.Bat hanging

When I was first told the house had bats living in it, I wondered if they might be huge fruit bats. After all there's quite a lot of tropical fruit in the garden (jungle), and when it falls off the trees it tends to attract various creatures. But no, fortunately the bats are only small, like flying hamsters.

I had heard there were "animals living in the house", and there were hints it could be an infestation of bats. However, there are probably only about eight bats in the whole house. It's not "the Bat Cave", and they really are not so numerous as to fly about in a dense cloud like in various movies where the special effects have been over-egged.

It has been suggested that pest exterminators be called. Well if it had been termites, then yes. But just a few bats, no I think they are mostly harmless. The current plan is to put glass in the windows, put mosquito nets up where there are any gaps, and then if there are any bats remaining indoors, it will be a matter of capturing them (probably in a butterfly net) and releasing them into the jungle. Live and let live.

If you find you have bats in your house, the first thing you should do is to check the legal status that they might have. Some countries (the UK for example) give bats squatters' rights such that you the owner may be required to be expelled because the bats have priority even though it's your house! So, be careful whom you tell and what you do! It might be a good idea to get some advice anonymously (!).

If you live in a country where you have the freedom to choose what to do, you are in a much better position. However, don't be scared of bats! They are not going to bite you unprovoked, and if you are worried they'll get caught in your hair, wear a hat. (Bats see in sound, and big-hair is almost invisible to them sonically). There are experts who know how to handle bats without hurting them, and they may be worth consulting. There's a particularly useful resource at www.bats.org.uk