You may not have heard of bat trapping, but bat trapping is sometimes used by wildlife control operators (WCOs) to capture and remove bats from a structure. The concept is quite simple. You locate all the gaps in a structure and close the ones not being used by bats as
exits. Then for the holes bats use as exits, you install a bat trap which captures the bats as they exit the building. Bat trapping is an ingenious idea. It allows the WCO to show the client that the bats have been removed from the structure. As a marketing tool, it was very effective and it worked to remove bats from a structure too.
A couple of types of bat traps exist. The one pictured at the right was developed by Al LaFrance of New York state. He was a pioneer in bat control and used the device successfully for many years in the 1990s.
Problems with Bat Trapping
While bat traps have some key benefits, they also come with several disadvantages. It’s the disadvantages that cause the National Wildlife Control Operators Association and Bat Conservation International to oppose the use of bat traps (except for disease management or scientific research). The first problem with bat traps is that trapped bats can overheat and die. While trappers can make adjustments to make these deaths minimal to almost non-existent, it is hard to completely eliminate deaths in every use. The second problem is that with the emergence of white-nose syndrome, trapping bats could help transmit the fungal infection amongst bats more rapidly. The last problem with bat traps is that they are not needed to evict bats from a structure. Properly installed one-way doors, allow bats to leave but not return without requiring bats to be trapped.
Understand that these comments are not meant to condemn the inventors of bat traps. It is not fair to condemn inventors for problems (e.g. white-nose syndrome) that weren’t around when the traps were created. Bat traps have a role in bat management. It’s just a limited, but valuable role, namely for research and disease control. And for that advancement, we all should be grateful.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel) along with several books (https://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/store-2/). Listen to his podcast at PestGeek Podcast (https://pestgeekpodcast.com/). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. If you would like to have Stephen speak at your event or use his consultation services, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.