Bat question

Last night I had to evict a bat from my house. Although I didn't examine it closely -- it wanted to be out of the house even more than I wanted it out, so I tried to grant its wish as speedily as possible -- my best guess would be that it was a little brown bat. This is the second time in two years I've had a bat in the house. While that may not seem like a lot, I've lived other places for much longer without ever encountering an indoor bat.
Although I don't have any obvious holes anywhere, this is a very old house (100+ years). My attic doesn't have usable space and I never hear any noise in there or observe bats exiting, and both of these bats have been found in the downstairs living area. Does anyone know how large an opening a little brown bat might need to enter a house? I'd really like to spare the bats, myself, and my dogs and cats the excitement of another up-close interaction!
Jo Ann
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Jo Ann wrote:

basement. My family room is there and I was watching TV when he came through the door and I fell out of my chair. Never could figure how he got there. You can open a door and chase them out but be careful as bats can be rabid and if you get scratched and don't have the bat to test, you'll need shots.
Frank
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People are often bitten and don't realize they've been bit. The girl who survived rabies quite recently didn't realize she had been bitten. Bat teeth are razor sharp and very small. Best not to handle it at all. If you get them in your house regularly, invest in a butterfly net.
After removing one from my cabin with the help of a relative, she later mentioned that even that much exposure to a bat (we caught it with a towel) meant we should have gotten shots. She's a doctor. I thought it was very nice of her to mention it WEEKS later. She said bites and scratches aren't the only way to get rabies from a rabid bat -- any body fluid will do it. That's why dead rabid animals are still dangerous animals.
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FragileWarrior wrote:

scratch her in a hospital parking lot at night. She had to have the shots. Frank
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Does anyone know

Just a minute crack :-) Bat houses which you can buy for the garden here, are made with a very small crack entrance, you could just slide a matchstick through.
Bats do fly by day though, and yours could easily get in through a window or door left open.
Janet
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wrote:

Sounds like maybe I should just be glad that my little backyard ecosystem is attractive to bats and accept the idea that I may need to escort one back out there every so often :-)
Thanks for the input!
Jo Ann
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Good for you, Jo Ann! A bat cannot fit through a spot the size of a matchstick as Janet said, but they can fit into very small areas. If it's a Mexican free tail, it is about the size of a thumb, so tiny. Still wouldn't fit into a matchstick hole. My bathouse has eight rows of housing, spaced by about an inch or so. They like heat and confined areas. Just never handle one and you will be okay.
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The following site has a wealth of information and great pictures,
Bat Conservation International http://www.batcon.org/home/default.asp
Bats In Your Home?
"On occasion, a solitary bat may accidently fly into a home, garage or other building through an open door or window. Such incidents often involve lost youngsters whose primary goal is a safe escape." "They can enter through openings as small as one-half inch in diameter (1.3 cm)."
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