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The ongoing bat saga

August 8, 2021

Or is it?

After I sorted the house out yesterday (as I described it to my friend, it wasn’t exactly super clean, but at least it was no longer mortifyingly messy), she came round her bat woman pal, who confirmed what I already knew: short of taking a sledgehammer to the brick work my only option was to keep the windows wide open and hope for the best. 

Quite how they got behind the brickwork remains a mystery. The question was raised of whether they might have come down the chimney. Yes, that was a possibility, but, having done so, the only way they could have got into the house would have involved me opening the woodstove door – something I haven’t done for months. (Trust me, if I two bats flew out the last time I opened the woodstove door, I would have noticed.)

Later my friend forwarded this press release to me.

Bats on the move

Are you noticing more bats around your house or property? 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. 

These surprise visitors are usually the young pups. “In July and August, pups are learning to fly, and their early efforts may land them in locations where they are more likely to come in contact with humans,” says Mandy Kellner, biologist and coordinator with the Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program. The recent heat and smoke may also be causing bats to use unusual roost sites. 

If you find a bat, alive or dead, never touch it with your bare hands. Bats in BC have very low levels of rabies infection, but any risk of transmission should not be treated lightly. Contact a doctor or veterinarian if a person or pet could have come into direct contact (bitten, scratched etc.) with a bat. 

For information on safely moving a bat if necessary and to report bat sightings, landowners can contact 1-855-9BC-BATS or visit the Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program’s website. The Program is currently seeking reports of mortalities or changes in bat behaviour that may be due to the hot, dry summer. 

Female bats gather in maternity colonies to have a single pup 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 many 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 should only be done in the fall and winter after it is determined that the bats are no longer in the building. Again, the BC Community Bat Project, can offer advice and support.

The release included this photo and caption.

Baby bats, called pups, are born hairless, but soon grow fur, begin to fly, and may end up in surprising places. Always wear thick gloves if you need to move a grounded bat. 

“Surprising places”, indeed. And no mention of their ability to bounce around the floor like little black ping pong balls. 

Well, here’s the latest

No bouncing black balls in the livingroom when I was watching television last night. No chittering from behind the fireplace. And nothing flying around the house when I was reading in bed.

Dare I hope that perhaps they might have found their way out the open windows the night before while I was asleep, that they’d actually vacated the premises before my friend and her chum turned up? Yes, I do dare hope.

Time will tell.

From → Blog

3 Comments
  1. janeshead permalink

    Poor wee things! Yes, let’s hope they got out safely.

    • I sincerely hope so. I’m sure they were even more freaked out being in here than I was seeing them swooping around.

  2. Susan Yates permalink

    I just got back from Vancouver and trying to catch up, so looking at your posts backwards (I know, weird, but best way to catch up quickly and think about the older stuff later, hopefully with more time to ponder). All the years I lived at my previous home (25 years) I had bats living in the attic and behind the battens on my cedar siding and they never caused harm or trouble. They were all Myotis lucifugus and I waited for them to fly out at dusk on many summer nights. I loved having them to eat mosquitoes and to hear their precious tiny squeaks when the mamas talked to their babies behind the siding. Their poops look like mouse poo but a bit bigger, just in case you see more ‘mouse’ poops than usual (what is god’s name is usual, she asks??!)

    I hope you and the bats come to a good understanding. When I was in Vancouver I saw a couple of skunks, late at night, just wandering by looking for bugs to eat. I love skunks too and sometimes wish we had them here.

    Hope to see you soon,

    Susan >

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