There are an amazing 18 species of bat in the UK. In general, they have a good relationship with humans, and enjoy considerable legal protection. They play an important role in the ecosystem keeping insect numbers in check with even the smallest of them being able to consume thousands of insects a night! There has been some discussion about bats and rabies in recent years – although bats can be vectors of diseases including rabies, the risk is minimal and usually only associated with interfering with bats and their roosts. Due to their legal protection, all resolution of bat issues needs authorisation by a Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation.
Common Issues #
Some of the species of bat found in the UK may sometimes roost in loft spaces. They don’t chew or cause any serious damage but their very sticky urine can obviously be messy and large colonies can be noisy. As it’s illegal to disturb bat roosts, their presence can put a block on building work.
The Problem with Lethal Control #
Bats are amongst the most highly protected of Britain’s wildlife and it is illegal to injure or kill them.
The Alternatives #
It is actually illegal to handle bats unless to seek treatment for an injury or illness and it’s also illegal to set traps for them or do anything to damage or block access to their roosts so taking any direct action yourself is not legally possible. If you have bats in your loft then The Bat Conservation Trust is a good source of advice. Before taking any action including repair or maintenance work to the area you will need to contact your Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation