KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Talk about a roommate from hell.
One Knoxville wildlife removal company says they are seeing an uptick in bat colonies that are taking up residence inside local homes.
"Very common this time of year," Brandon Majors, Wildlife Control Officer at Alpha Wildlife, said.
Alpha Wildlife Knoxville is a company which specializes in wildlife removal, and they shared a video of one such colony to Facebook on Saturday.
Bats normally start having their babies in late May through early July.
Pups then leave the roost during this time of year, which accounts for a yearly uptick in in-home colonies around the area.
Experts say the most obvious sign of a bat infestation is guano - bat droppings that have accumulated in a space. Other telltale signs are stained holes, the scent of ammonia, or animal squeaking inside walls.
While bats are cursed with the unfortunate stereotype of being creepy and crawly, they're actually endangered and federally protected. These unsung heroes of the animal kingdom often act as important pollinators and feast on pesky insects that are harmful to farmer's crops.
That means civilians should not just squirt water on them, or try to get rid of bats by themselves.
"We do have to follow all federal and state regulations," Majors said. "Bats are federally protected."
They are also similar to mice, in how they can squeeze into small areas. If you do find yourself dealing with an infestation, the best thing to do is call a professional.
"If you try to exclude them out of one area most of the time they make their way back in," Majors said. "So give us a call, we'll take care of it for you. The way it's supposed to be done legally."