In Virginia bats are not considered a game species or a fur-bearing
species. This means that a bat may be killed if it is deemed as
being a nuisance to a homeowner. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) defines nuisance as
“species found committing or about to commit depredation
upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, wildlife,
livestock or other property or when concentrated in numbers and
manners as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. However,
the term nuisance does not include animals designated as endangered
or threatened. The mere presence of a bat does not constitute
it as a nuisance.
There are three species of bats in Virginia that are Federally
endangered and are therefore protected under the Endangered Species
Act which explicitly prohibits anyone from attempting to “harass
, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect,
or to attempt to engage in any such conduct” any endangered
or threatened species. The three endangered species of bat in
Virginia are Gray, Indiana, and Virginia Big-Eared. Before implementing
any control technique, ensure that your problem bat is not one
of these three endangered species.
Other legal aspects that the homeowner needs to know is that
it is illegal to poison any animal (including bats) with the exception
of mice and rats found in a dwelling 4VAC15-40-50.
It is also illegal to transport any bat species therefore making
it is illegal to relocate any species of bat other than on the
property that it was caught 4VAC15-30-50.
In Virginia it is illegal to
- transport, release, or relocate a
bat anywhere other than the property it was caught on 4VAC15-30-50,
- poison any animal (including bat)
other than rats and mice on your property 4VAC15-40-50.
It is a Federal offense to
- “harass , harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill,
trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any
such conduct.” any endangered or threatened species.
(Endangered Species Act)