|Updated: 10/07/2013 5:23 pm
||Published: 10/07/2013 5:06 pm
A couple hundred bats were found living in a Sand Springs home.
According to wildlife officials, it turns out it's not that uncommon.
"They'll just find a place to roost and in this house it was here against the rafters," said Reginald Murray with Oklahoma Wildlife Control.
He said as soon as he stepped in the attic, a bat flew toward him. Murray said 200-300 are roosting in the attic of the house.
The homeowner told FOX23 he's too embarrassed about this problem to talk on camera. He said he just bought the house and had no idea bats were living there until a neighbor told him he saw one fly from the home.
"It can happen to anybody," said Murray.
He said bats can get in through a gap as small as one-eighth of an inch, but these likely got in through louvers on the side of the house.
Murray carefully pulled out a sleeping bat to examine it.
"That's a big brown (bat)," he said.
More than 20 varieties of bats live in Oklahoma, Murray said.
"It's insulated. It's a better environment than what nature can provide," he said.
He said bats may be in your home right now, in the attic, or even in the walls, and you usually don't know because you can't hear them.
"Occasionally you'll just here some scratching if you disturb the wall or ceiling where they're at," he said.
The first clue will likely be bat feces, which can look like mouse droppings.
To get rid of the bats, Murray puts hardware cloth over the louvers and two devices to evict the bats.
"It acts like a one-way door, exit only," he said.
After a couple days, the bats will go somewhere else and after that, Murray will seal the house.
"Like all wildlife, it belongs in nature and this is not in nature," he said.
Homeowners probably don't want to live with them, but how they get rid of them can be crucial, according to Murray.
"There's no sense of hurting them," he said.
He said because bats eat mosquitoes, they can save people's lives.
"They're our No. 1 defense against West Nile (virus)," he said.
For example, the 200 bats in the home eat 28,000 mosquitoes per night and that means removing 28,000 chances of contracting West Nile, he said.
If you find a bat in your home, Murray says use gloves to handle it because it can carry rabies. Put it in a shoebox and release it outside.
If you have 200 bats, you'll probably need to call a professional.