In the past few weeks, our Animal Services Team has been receiving many calls regarding bats, so we wanted to provide some helpful tips when understanding our winged friends before they go into hibernation around October/November.
Bats are an essential part of our ecosystem. Kansas City bats are insectivores and eat flying insects by capturing the insect by the wings. Sometimes these bats find themselves in your home. Do not panic, Animal Services will send an officer. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind until an Animal Services Officers arrives:
- If a bat is in your home, call Animal Services Division at 816-683-1373.
- Do not touch or hit the bat. If it is flying, wait until it lands somewhere. Open windows or doors to help it go back outside. If the bat leaves your home before ASD (Animal Services Division) arrives, please call us back and let us know.
- Always wear thick gloves when trying to move a bat.
- If you do not want to try and remove the bat, that’s okay- we will! Just make sure no one interacts with the bat until we get there.
- Put any children and/or animals in a separate room. Close off other entrances to the house so the bat cannot leave the room.
- If the bat is grounded, secure the bat by placing a box or container over the bat.
- If the bat is hanging; place a box/container over the bat and use a piece of cardboard to trap the bat in the box or container. Turn the box or container right side up and secure the cardboard as a lid. Make sure there are small air holes in the lid/box.
- Once the Animal Services Officer arrives, they will take the bat to Lakeside Nature Center to be quarantined with the bat rehabber. If the bat shows any abnormal/concerning behaviors, the bat will then come back to Animal Services to be tested for rabies. You will be updated should this occur.
- Animal Services will not go into attics, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, etc. We do not remove colonies. If you have multiple bats in your home or see bat droppings, please contact a humane bat removal specialist or pest control.
Here are a few more helpful facts to know about bats:
- Less than half of 1% of bats carry rabies.
- Bats are not aggressive and do not attack people.
- Missouri bats do not feed on blood.
- Bats consume tons of insects each year. A Little Brown Bat (one of the most common MO bats) can eat up to 600 mosquitos an hour.
- Bats are the only mammal capable of true flight! Missouri bats cannot take off from the ground; they need a 2-3 foot drop to fly.
- Bats can enter homes through various small entrances- as small as a 1/4 x 1/2-inch crack.
- Common bat species found in KC: Little Brown bat, Big Brown bat, Hoary bat, Red bat, Silver-haired bat, and Indiana bats* (*federally and state endangered).