Should I relocate a bat?

There are times when you may find that you have a bat in your home and that you were able to capture the thing. Bats may come in through an open door or window, or simply come in when you do, and you later find them resting on your wall or hanging for a light fixture. You knock it down and catch it in a blanket and then ask yourself: what do I do now?

Many people decide that the thing to do would be to take the bat somewhere else and let it go. They can put it in a secure container so that it cannot get out, throw it into their trunk or the back of their truck, and drive off to a place mile from their home and let it go. They find a nice location in the country and let it go, only to find that a short time later they see the bat swooping around their home again. What went wrong here?

The truth is that nothing did. Bats have an amazing sense of direction, much like you would see in a homing pigeon, and will eventually find their way back to where they came from. Think of it as the most terrifying version of Homeward Bound that you have ever seen. If two dogs and a cat can find their way to a place then you can be sure that a bat can do so as well. They are just prone to have success.

This means that relocation is really not an option unless you are going to take the bat literally hundreds of miles away from your home. Bats can fly 50 miles in one night, so taking it to a park or open field a few miles from your home will mean it is back home by lunch.

Your only two options here are to let it go and hope it does not return to your home or to kill it. Neither of those may seem particularly appetizing to you, but simply taking it somewhere else and letting it go will not work. It just doesn’t. You have to take the more permanent approach or no real approach at all.

It is easy to want to do the humane thing, but relocation cannot and will not work. Your heart may be in the right place, but this will not keep the bat away from your home, and will only cost you time and gas money in the long run.

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