Bats roosting in exposed locations, like the one shown here on a sun umbrella, can be left alone and will move on at dusk. (Photo courtesy of BC Community Bat Program)

Summer can be a batty time as young start to roam, says B.C. biologist

Bats may fly into homes, be found on the ground or appear roosting in unusual locations

This time of year bats begin to show up in places you wouldn’t expect, including the belfry.

Landowners typically notice more bat activity in mid-summer, said Mandy Kellner, a biologist, and co-ordinator with the Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program.

“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,” Kellner said in a media release.

Bats may fly into homes, be found on the ground or appear roosting in unusual locations.

“The recent heat and smoke may also be causing bats to use unusual roost sites,” she said.

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Anyone who finds a bat should never touch it, regardless of whether it’s dead or alive. While bats in B.C. have “very low” levels of rabies infection, any risk of transmission should be treated seriously. Anyone who comes in contact and is bitten or scratched by a bat should contact a doctor or veterinarian.

Female bats gather in maternity colonies to have a single pup each summer, where they remain until the young are ready to fly. Some species have adapted to live in human structures and colonies and have been found under roofs, sidings, attics, barns, and other buildings. Although some people appreciate bats for their ability to control insects, others prefer to exclude them.

Under the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to kill or harm bats, and exclusion should only be done in fall and winter after it is confirmed they are no longer in the building.

For information on how to safely remove a bat or to report a bat sighting, contact the Southern Vancouver Island and Southern Gulf Islands Community Bat Program at info@bcbats.ca, or call 1-855-9BC-BATS, ext. 12. Visit bcbats.ca/got-bats for more information, or to download the Managing Bats in a Building booklet.

rick.stiebel @goldstreamgazette.com


 

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