Bats

IMPORTANT – Rabies vector species should never be handled without gloves. A bat flying around in the daytime or banging into things, or unable to fly is a sign something could be wrong. Call the WRSOS hotline for advice regarding rabies vector species.

Bats On The Ground

LEFT: Image courtesy of Kayla Hatzel

There are many circumstances that may cause a bat to wind up on the ground:

  • Illness.
  • Injury.
  • Knocked to ground by a predator such as owls, crows, cats, etc.
    Young bat dropped by mother.
  • Fatigue/lack of nourishment/weakness – common in spring and fall or in seasons where there can be large temperature fluctuations and a lack of food and water.

It is important to know that all species of Saskatchewan bats are unable to take flight from the ground and are also unable to jump. They must be able to drop from something such as a wall or tree in order to fly. Bats that are grounded are completely helpless and can be easily contained with a box or pail. Please keep children and pets away from grounded bats. Bats are gentle animals but, may bite when they are sick or frightened.

A grounded bat can be helped using the following technique:

  1. Get a large piece of Tupperware, shoe box, or similar container and a thin piece of cardboard larger than the container’s opening.
  2. WEARING GLOVES, gently place the container over the bat. Take care not to catch it’s wings, they are delicate!
  3. Slide the thin piece of cardboard under the container and bat. Be slow and gentle, give the bat time to climb on top of the cardboard.
  4. Once the bat is inside the container, keep the piece of cardboard on the box and slowly turn it over. If you cannot release it immediately, tape the lid on.
  5. Place the box as high as possible against a shady, textured surface (tree, brick, stucco, cedar etc.).
  6. Slide the cardboard “lid” out.
  7. Give the bat time to cling to the surface then remove the box.

If the bat remains for a long period of time or is too weak to hang on there could be other issues and it should be brought to a licensed rehabilitator. Contain it in a box or Tupperware, provide a face cloth or rag for it to hide in and contact the Wildlife Hotline for further instructions.

There’s A Bat In My House!


LEFT: Image courtesy of Angela Field Tate

First things first – DON”T PANIC! The bat is more afraid of you! It is common for Big Brown Bats to occasionally blunder into our living spaces, offices, and schools. There are many ways they can gain entry into our homes and they often even hibernate in between the walls of our homes.

 

 

Warm Weather Information:
If you have a bat flying around your house there are several things you can do.

  • If the temperature is above 5 – 10 degrees Celcius, you can open a door or window that leads directly outside.
    Turn the lights off and wait quietly for the bat to leave. If everyone is yelling, screaming and swatting at the bat it will be unable to get it’s bearings and leave safely.
  • They will usually not want to move during the daytime. They often cling to the folds of drapes.
  • If you are unable to directly access the outside from the room the bat is in, you can try the following techniques to capture and remove it.

  1. Get a large piece of Tupperware, shoe box, or similar container and a thin piece of cardboard larger than the container’s opening.
  2. WEARING GLOVES, gently place the container over the bat – take care not to catch it’s wings, they are delicate!
  3. Slide the thin piece of cardboard under the container and bat – be slow and gentle, give the bat time to climb on top of the cardboard.
  4. Once the bat is inside the container, keep the piece of cardboard on the box and slowly turn it over. If you cannot release it immediately, tape the lid on.
  5. Place the box as high as possible against a shady, textured surface (tree, brick, stucco, cedar etc.).
  6. Slide the cardboard ”lid” out.
  7. Give the bat time to cling to the surface then remove the box.

If the bat remains for a long period of time or is too weak to hang on there could be other issues and it should be brought to a licensed rehabilitator. Contact the Wildlife Hotline for further instructions.

Winter Instructions:
If it is during winter, a bat would be unable to survive outside. Bats occasionally turn up inside buildings in winter when they wake up from hibernation to drink water. They follow the cavities around the building looking for condensation to drink and occasionally follow pipes or other openings into our living spaces. In these circumstances, a bat can be captured using the above techniques and then instead of releasing them, call the WRSOS hotline. We have several licensed rehabilitators that can hibernate the bats until spring when they can be released.

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