RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Rising temperatures mean bats are back and could be in your attic.

Wildlife control experts are urging North Carolina homeowners to look for, remove and prevent bats from finding their way inside before removals are paused over the summer.

Joseph Herring, owner of Carolina Wildlife Removal, says he’s already seen an increase in calls for bat removals this year

“This warm weather has also got the bats out of hibernation and they’ve started to migrate back into town a little bit,” Herring said. “If your neighbor has bats, you’re going to have bats. Bats can get into every crack and crevice the size of your finger.”

While bats bring risks to people inside homes, like rabies and damage, the animals are protected by the state for their part in our ecosystem.

“Bats are really important,” Herring said. “They eat a lot of insects. What I’ve been told is if we didn’t have bats, the insects would take over.”

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission wants people to prepare their homes by sealing any cracks and getting bats safely removed before May 1.

From then until the end of July, pups are born and the commission does not allow for removal.

N.C. Wildlife officials said if bats come in contact with people or are in living spaces, you should call your county health department immediately.

Otherwise, removal from attics or other non-living areas can be done by a licensed wildlife control agent.