It is illegal to kill bats in Florida in accordance with Florida Administrative Code rule 68A-4.001 General Prohibitions.
Protections for bats in structures are also included in rule 68A-9.010 Taking Nuisance Wildlife.
There are 13 native bat species in Florida and all are ecologically beneficial. These mammals are beneficial because of the amount of flying insects they devour at night; bats can eat up to their weight in bugs! They are fertilizers, pollinators, and insect pest controllers. Because of this, during maternity season it is illegal to disturb or remove them from their roost. Maternity season is April 15-August 15.
The possible harm that comes from these mammals is their guano (feces). If nesting in an attic, bats can become extremely dangerous to humans. The disease they carry, histoplasmosis, can release fungal spores into the air, endangering any inhabitants of the infested establishment, and can lead to chronic illness and even death. It is common that once bats are in an attic, they can find their way into the home or building. They do not cause physical damage to a structure or home, the main concern are the health risks.
I saw a bat in my house! Do I have a colony?
If one, single bat is seen inside of a building it does not particularly mean a bat colony will form. During maternity season, bats look for warm and stable temperatures, in quiet rooms that are free of disturbance. These mammals need a contributing environment, human activity and air conditioning are not very helpful. When bats roost in man-made structures, they are normally susceptible to these disturbances.
How can I get a colony out of a building?
Between April 15-August 15 you cannot. According to the protections rule, 68A-9.010 Taking Nuisance Wildlife, it is prohibited to use poisons or pesticides that can harm, deter, or kill bats. This rule also states the requirements that need to be followed to remove bats. From August 15-April 15, it is legal to use exclusion devices that allows bats to escape but blocks re-entry into the roost.
If you think you have a bat or bat colony roosting in your home or other structure, contact Affordable Wildlife Removal.