Bats are important pollinators in our ecosystem. Can you imagine a world without durians and petai (because bats pollinate them too)? Contrary to popular belief, bats in Singapore do not harm people and have a diet consisting mainly of fruits or insects. Fruit-eating bats pollinate the beautiful flowers you see around your neighbourhood while insect-eating bats control insect populations (including mosquito populations)!
Why are bats roosting in my home?
While bats mostly mind their own business, being a City in Nature means that your home might be close to trees where bats love to feed on fruits or insects. If there are conducive spots within your house or estate that provide shelter and appropriate temperature, these bats might choose to roost there after a night of feeding.
To minimise bats coming to roost, you can do the following:
If you have fruit trees in your garden, prune them and harvest the fruits from trees as soon as they start to ripen. Alternatively, fruits can be covered with cloth or mesh bags.
Install motion sensor lights where the bats are roosting.
Identify and seal up gaps between roof tiles through which the bats enter, using a netting or mesh.
Cover structures that they are likely to cling to with a smooth acrylic or plastic sheet, to prevent bats from being able to cling securely and dissuade them from roosting there.
What should I do if a bat flies into my house?
Turn off any lights and ceiling fans.
Open all the windows and give time for the bat to fly out on its own.
Do not feed the bat as this encourages the bat to revisit your place for food.
Remember not to handle any wildlife, including bats, with your bare hands. If unsure what to do, take a photo/video and call the 24-hour ACRES Wildlife Rescue Hotline at 9783-7782, or NParks' 24-hr Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600, for advice.
Do bats pose health risks to humans?
You may have read or heard about articles suggesting that bats are a source of zoonotic viruses that can be spread to people. NParks has been studying Singapore’s bat populations since 2011. To date, NParks’ biosurveillance programmes have not detected any transmissible zoonotic diseases in our bats. There have been no cases of illnesses transmitted from bats to humans in Singapore. NParks will continue to closely monitor the local bat population.
View, download and share the following advisories on bats with your friends, family and community!