According to the BC Community Bat Program (BCCBP), with mid-summer here you may be noticing more bats around your house and property.
“These surprise visitors are often the young pups,” said Paula Rodriguez de la Vega, regional coordinator with the ‘Okanagan Got Bats?’ program.
Pups are learning to fly in July and August and their early efforts may land them in locations where they are more likely to come in contact with people.
If you find a bat, alive or dead, do not touch it with your bare hands. Bats in B.C. are known to carry rabies. If you must move a bat, use a trowel or something similar, and always wear leather gloves to protect yourself from direct contact.
The BCCBP recommends telling children to make sure they understand to never touch, play with or try to rescue injured or sick-looking bats. If you suspect a bite or scratch from a bat, immediately wash the area with soap and water for 15 minutes. Also, contact your public health authority or doctor as soon as possible, or go to the emergency department.
Having bats is viewed as a benefit by many landowners, who appreciate the insect control. Under the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to exterminate or directly harm bats.
If you have bats on your property, the BCCBP can offer advice and support.
You can keep bats out of your living space by keeping doors and windows closed and ensuring window screens do not have any holes. If you find a live bat in a room of your home, open the window and close interior doors until the bat leaves.