Colonies of bats in homes cannot be removed until migration season, officials say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bats only need a gap as small as a fingertip to make it inside your home.

Biologist and animal removal expert Andrew Cole has seen it all and captured it all.

On Tuesday, he showed Channel 9 pictures and videos of bat colonies inside homes in Matthews and Waxhaw.

"I've probably done 40 to 50 jobs since March," he said.

Channel 9 met with Cole in Mint Hill while he inspected a house that's infested with dozens of bats.

[PHOTOS: Bat removal restricted until migration season in two weeks] 

Cole said removal restrictions are in place to make sure bats don't get trapped inside homes.

"You want to give time for the baby bats to mature to gain the ability to fly and at that point you can properly evict them."

The restriction will be lifted in two weeks when bats start migrating. Until then, there's nothing worried families can do.

"The biggest threat that they pose to people is the potential exposure to rabies," Cole said.

Channel 9 checked state records and learned eight bats with rabies have been captured in the Charlotte area since May 2017.

The cases are rare --- but still reason enough to cause concern for all the families who are stuck with bats the rest of the summer.

"People get pretty hysteric," said Cole.

To have an expert bat proof your home could cost anywhere between $300 - $3,000. If you have a problem you only have another eight months to act before the bats start moving back in.

Bats aren't the only thing homeowners need to keep an eye out for right now.

While we were interviewing Cole, he showed us a Copperhead that he caught outside a pool in Matthews recently.

It's a good reminder to keep watching the ground because snake season isn't over until October.

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