Bats are usually on the move during mid-summer – KCBP

The Kootenay Community Bat Project suggests that people may be noticing more bats around their home or property, as mid-summer is a time for more activity.

The KCBP said in a press release that landowners typically notice more bat activity, bats flying into their homes and the occasional finding of a bat on the ground or sleeping in unusual locations.

“In July and August, puppies learn to fly, and their early efforts allow them to land in locations where they are more likely to interact with humans,” said Elodie Kuhnert, regional coordinator for the Kootenay Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program.

The KCBP said, as noted in 2021, heat and smoke can also cause bats to use unusual roosts, and if anyone finds a bat, alive or dead, remember never to touch it with bare hands.

The KCBP said bats in BC are known to carry low-level rabies; therefore it is important to avoid any contact.

If you have to move a bat, use a trowel or similar and always wear leather gloves to protect yourself from direct contact,” the KCBP said.

“Talk to your children to make sure they understand never to touch, play, or attempt to rescue injured or sick-looking bats.”

The KCBP said that if anyone suspects a bite or scratch from a bat, immediately wash the area with soap and water for 15 minutes and contact their public health or doctor, or go to the emergency department as soon as possible.

For more information on rabies, please refer to the BCCDC website

Bats are often found in close association with humans, as some species (such as the Little Brown Myotis) have adapted to live in human structures, and colonies can be found under roofs or siding, or in attics, sheds, or other buildings. Female bats gather in maternity colonies to give birth to a single pup in early summer, where they will remain until the pups are ready to fly. Having bats is seen as an advantage by many landowners who appreciate insect control. Others may prefer to rule out the bats.

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

If someone has bats on their property, the BC Community Bat Project can provide advice and support.

The public can keep bats out of your living space by keeping windows and doors closed and making sure window screens have no holes.

If a live bat flies into a room of a house, open the window and close the interior doors until the bat leaves, or follow the steps here: #indoors.

Always vaccinate your pets against rabies.

For information on how to safely move a bat if necessary and to report bat sightings, landowners can visit the Got Bats? The BC Community Bat Program website (, email [email protected] or call 1-855-9BC-BATS Kootenay.

The BC Community Bat Program is supported by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the Habitat Stewardship Program, the Government of BC, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Kootenay Lake and Columbia Valley Local funds.

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