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Be prepared for a B.C. bat encounter

Bats may roost in unusual places this time of year as they leave summer roosts.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C. Community Bat Program / L Parker
August 11, 2020 - 4:30 PM

Now is the time of year when young bats spread their wings, and the members of a B.C. bat group want you to be aware.

You may notice more bats around your property this month, as the pups are learning to fly, according a B.C. Community Bat Program news release. They're usually born in late June and into July, so August is when they are out and about testing their wings.

“Their early efforts may land them in locations where they are more likely to come in contact with humans,“ Mandy Kellner, biologist and coordinator with the B.C Community Bat Program, said in the release. “If they are in a safe location, out of the way of people and pets, you can leave them alone they will move off on their own within days.”

READ MORE: B.C. bats not to blame for COVID-19: These creatures need our help

"Female bats gather in colonies in early summer, where they will remain until the pups are ready to fly. Some species of bats have adapted to live in human structures, and colonies may be found under roofs or siding, or in attics, barns, or other buildings," reads the release.

Never touch a bat with your bare hands. While B.C. bats have a low levels of rabies, there is still the risk. If a person or pet has been bitten or scratched by a bat, you are advised to contact your local public health unit, Health Link 811, a doctor or a veterinarian.

READ MORE: How a B.C. researcher and microbiologist hope to save bats across the continent

Bats help keep the insect populations under control. The B.C. Wildlife Act states that it is illegal to exterminate or harm bats, and exclusion can only be done in the fall and winter after it is determined that the bats are no longer in the building.

September and October are an excellent time to do bat-friendly renovations or exclusion work, according to the news release, and you can find out more information on the BC Community Bat Project website. You can also contact your local community bat program by email at or by calling 1-855-9BC-BATS.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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