Bats breaking into Midtown Harrisburg homes

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Kids will be kids, bats will be bats.

“It’s just juvenile bats getting themselves in trouble like juvenile kids do,” said George McEntee, Nuisance Wildlife owner.

We heard from several Midtown Harrisburg residents who have been bombarded by bats in their homes recently, but rest assured — it’s temporary.

“It’s purely an accident. They don’t wanna live there. It doesn’t mean you have a colony that lives there,” McEntee said.

McEntee said it’s something you can set your watch by — starting in mid-August through early September, baby bats are earning their beginner’s wings.

“They only need about three-eights of an inch crack to get in, and most houses have that, and a lot of times what they’ll do is they’ll travel down through the walls and they’ll end up in people’s basements,” McEntee said.

McEntee said bats are usually harmless — only one in 1,000 bats test positive for rabies, but if one is found in a bedroom where someone was sleeping, the Department of Health requires the bat to be killed and tested.

“If you roll over on the bat in your sleep, it may bite back defensively,” McEntee said.

If you find a bat in your house during the day, they’ll likely hang on an item, asleep. For a gentle wake up call, McEntee recommends grabbing some Tupperware.

“Take a small kitchen Rubbermaid container, and you can put that over the bat and try to slide the lid or a piece of cardboard underneath it, and then you have the bat contained safely,” McEntee said.

To keep the bats out, McEntee said it’s important to keep your house sealed tightly.

“Make sure that your screens don’t have holes in them, and keep your screens down and tight at night,” McEntee said.

They may seem like a bother, but bats bring big benefits to our ecosystem.

“We spend millions of dollars in pesticides to spray for bugs on vegetables and stuff. They’re eating bugs for free,” McEntee said.

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