October and Halloween time may bring up fears in some folks of bats and scary flying creatures in the night. The thoughts of Dracula and stories of blood sucking creatures may feed fantasy and fears of terrifying flying creatures that are looking for a victim.

This article is written to calm fears and ease tensions surrounding the bat issue. Did you know that bats in Indiana are protected? This does not mean that if you find a bat in your home you cannot deal with that individual, but it does mean that they are beneficial not only as pollinators but as human friendly social critters that help control a variety of insects around structures.

The scientific name for bats would be “myotis” which means mouse like ears. Bats are the only mammal that can fly. The most common bat found around the home is the little brown bat. In the fall of the year in Indiana, many bats will cluster in large groups in caves to hibernate in their hibernacula or hibernating place in caves. In fact, according to the bat conservancy, approximately 46 percent of bats will head to caves leaving 54 percent of the individuals staying in their roosts that may include in structures.

According to the CDC, if you are bit or if one finds a bat in the bed of a child or someone who is impaired, it is good to catch the bat and take it to the county health department for testing due to the possibility of the bat being a rabies carrier.

Bat-proofing a home can be a good idea for a home owner, however just sealing up openings is unwise. It is always best to have the area inspected by a professional that can offer the service of sealing some openings and installing a one-way device that will allow bats to leave the home but will not allow bats to reenter the home.