Going batty in Squamish

If a bat visits, don't be alarmed, says biologist, this is the time of year they are active

Have you had some rather shocking visitors to your house lately?

Squamish is a hot spot for bats and bat activity is often more noticeable in mid-summer.

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Some residents may have bats flying into their home, or occasionally find a bat on the ground or roosting in unusual locations.

Female bats gather in maternity colonies in early summer, where they will remain until their pups are ready to fly, according to the Community Bat Programs of BC.

  "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," said Danielle Dagenais, biologist, and coordinator with the BC Community Bat Program for the Greater Vancouver-Squamish region in a news release. 

A baby bat.                                                                                                                               Submitted photo

Under the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to exterminate bats.

Exclusion — sealing the home's access points with appropriate materials  — can only be done in the fall and winter after it is determined that the bats are no longer in the building.

Currently, baby bats — pups — are adventuring outside their roost.

They are mastering flying and learning to hunt insects, Dagenais said.   "The young are new to echolocation and may accidentally fly into your house as they learn to orient themselves.  Don't be alarmed; they will find their own way out if you leave a window or door open for them," she said.

Go to www.bcbats.ca or call 1-855-9BC-BATS ext. 11 for information on how to safely remove a bat from your house, to report bat sightings, or to get advice.
*If you find a bat, alive or dead, never touch it with your bare hands.  Bats in BC can contract rabies. 
*Contact a doctor or veterinarian if a person or pet could have come into direct contact with a bat. 

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