Very few bats will actually come in contact with humans. In fact, bats are shy creatures that prefer habitats away from direct contact with humans. Interactions may occasionally occur when and if one of these winged creatures enters a living space and is found nesting in an attic, porch, wall, garage, etc.
It is not uncommon for bats to find their way into your home as a means to avoid certain environmental elements and steer clear of predators. They might enter structures through roof edges, vents, improperly flashed roof valleys, gable ends, chimneys, and/or siding and can sometimes be found nesting with their recently born young. Contrary to what many believe, bats cannot chew through walls or wood as rodents do. It is however, very easy for a bat to fit through small spaces.
These creatures of the night have been known for causing damage to structures and being a pest with their loud chirping noises. While they typically prefer to roost in caves, attics, or wall structures, some bat colonies have even been found in sewers, mausoleums, sheds, trees and water wells. Contrary to popular belief, bats do not swoop down from the night sky and attack humans or get tangled in hair. If you have ever seen a bat fly nearby, chances are it was only chasing after a mosquito or a moth to make into its dinner. Bats also do not drink human blood. This myth most likely came from horror movies like Dracula, and were most likely based off of the vampire bat, which also unlike the movies does not consume human blood, these creatures only drink the blood of small mammals.
Another common misconception is that all bats have rabies. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, less than 1% of bats carry rabies and most who contract the deadly virus will die soon after. It should be noted that although your chances of coming across a rabid bat are very rare, most people who contract rabies from bats got it because they tried handling the creature. If you find a bat that seems to be ill, injured, or out during the day or somewhere where you would not normally find a bat, do not try handling the bat, especially not barehanded. Contact a wildlife professional to have the creature safely and properly removed from the area.
In addition to rabies, bats like all other living creatures, do deposit droppings and urine. Bat droppings are referred to as guano. Guano is used as fertilizer in some parts of the world and plays a very important role to the environment. While it may be great for helping plants and crops grow, what many people do not realize is that the waste may act as a growth medium for microbes, including those that can cause disease such as histoplasmosis. For this reason, individuals should practice extreme caution around bat waste. If possible try to keep your animals away from guano as well, as it can make them very sick if consumed.