Got bats in your belfry?

Are you noticing bats around your house or property? If so, then you are not alone.

Mid-summer is the time when landowners typically notice more bat activity, may have bats flying into their house, and occasionally find a bat on the ground or roosting in unusual locations. 

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Female bats gather in maternity colonies in early summer, where they will remain until the pups are ready to fly. Some species of bats have adapted to live in human structures, and colonies may be found under roofs or siding, or in attics, barns, or other buildings. Having bats is viewed as a benefit by some landowners, who appreciate the insect control. Others may prefer to exclude the bats.

Under the BC Wildlife Act it is illegal to exterminate or harm bats, and exclusion can only be done in the fall and winter after it is determined that the bats are no longer in the building. 

At this time of year, baby bats, pups, are now independent and are adventuring outside their roost. They are mastering flying and learning to hunt insects.

Many people may get surprise visits from young pups.

“The young are new to echolocation and may accidently fly into your house as they learn to orient themselves. Don’t be alarmed, they will find their own way out if you leave a window or door open for them,” said Danielle Dagenais, biologist and coordinator with the BC Community Bat Program for the Greater Vancouver-Squamish region. 

Landowners can visit the Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program’s website (www.bcbats.ca) or call 1-855-9BC-BATS ext. 11 for information on how to safely remove a bat from your house, to report bat sightings, or to get advice and support about bats in your house.

To find out more, download the “Managing Bats in Buildings” booklet, or contact your local Community Bat Program.

The program is currently seeking reports of bat mortalities at colonies in houses, barns, or bat houses. If you find a bat, alive or dead, never touch it with your bare hands. Bats in B.C. can contract rabies. Contact a doctor or veterinarian if a person or pet could have come into direct contact (bitten, scratched etc.) with a bat.

The BC Community Bat Program and their support with batty matters is funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, and the Government of BC.

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