Bats

About Bats

Little Brown Bat
  • Bats are naturally shy of humans.
  • Bats are not blind, and have an excellent navigation system. This, combined with their natural aversion to humans, means that it is unlikely that they will dive at people, get tangled in long hair or attack pets, contrary to popular belief.
  • Bats benefit people. As insectivores, bats feed heavily on moths, flies and mosquitoes. In fact, a single little brown bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bats a threat to me or my pets?

  • Bats, like cats, dogs, foxes and skunks, can carry rabies. Bats with the rabies virus will behave unusually.
  • Be extremely wary of bats that are active in the day or that seem too sick to fly away.
  • If you see a bat behaving this way, keep children and pets away and contact the nearest Fish and Wildlife office or municipal animal control agency.
  • Never attempt to handle bats without heavy leather gloves. Like any animal, bats will bite to defend themselves.

What can I do about the bat on my property?

  • If a bat is sleeping on the outside of a building, leave it alone. It will fly away by nightfall when it wakes up to feed.
  • Bats that accidently get inside the house will most likely find their way out if you leave a window or door open.
  • A sleeping bat can also be captured by covering it with a large, empty coffee can and gently sliding a piece of cardboard between the can and the surface the bat is sleeping on.
    • Once the bat is trapped inside, take the coffee can outside and let the bat fly away.
    • To give the bat a chance to fly away safely, make sure children and pets stay inside when you release it.
  • When the bat is in mid-flight, do not attempt to capture it or to swat at it using a broom or stick. You will injure the bat.
  • Bats can enter a building through an opening as small as 3/8 inch in diameter. Bats take advantage of existing holes in the structure of your house and are unable to chew to create new holes to use as entryways.
  • To prevent bats from entering your house, cover all gaps and holes in eaves, chimneys, roof vents and siding with ΒΌ inch hardware cloth. The best time to do this is at night after the bats have flown away to feed or in the fall after the bats have migrated.
  • Never bat-proof your house in June or July, as flightless young may be trapped inside and, without an escape exit, will starve to death and leave an unpleasant odour in your house.
  • After the bat has vacated the building you may need to clean up the guano left behind. Dried guano becomes a powdery substance that can grow a type of fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. Spores from this fungus, if inhaled, can cause a lung infection called histoplasmosis. To prevent this, spray the guano with a 1:10 bleach and water solution to hold down the dust and kill the fungus, then remove the guano.

Contact

Call a Fish and Wildlife officer

  • If you notice the bat is behaving unusually, such as flying during daylight hours
  • If you need specific advice on bats on your property
  • To discuss removal techniques

To find contact information for a Fish and Wildlife office near you, see:

Related Information

For information about bat species in Alberta

To download in-depth information about bat control from The Handbook: Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, published by the University of Nebraska, see:

 

Page Information

Updated: Feb 19, 2014