Why you shouldn’t worry about Bats
This week we’re taking a look at bats. Bats often get a bad press and people can be wary, or even scared, of bats but bats are a protected species and so it is important for the public to be aware of this and to understand that you can live in harmony with your bats.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides protection for all species of bat found in the United Kingdom.
Signs you may have Bats
Many householders go for years unaware they have bats. Signs of bats can include:
Bat droppings on windows, walls or sills
Bats may be visible on ridge beams inside the roof void and often tucked away from sight
Chattering sounds bats make at dusk before flying out to feed
During Summer months you may see bats emerging when they come out to feed around dusk time
The important thing to remember is not to disturb your bats.
Do NOT shine lights up at the ridge to look for them.
YOU MUST NOT TOUCH, OR DISTURB BATS
It is illegal to kill, or even disturb, bats in their roost. Bats can only be handled by those with a license to do so.
Won’t Bats cause damage to my property?
Bats aren’t rodents so they don’t gnaw wire, pipes, insulation or wood. They don’t build nests or bring prey into their roost. Bats are clean animals.
Tips for living with Bats
You should cover your water tank to prevent any bats from drowning.
Cover any stored items with a dust sheet (but not plastic) to protect items from bat droppings.
If you have cats, bring them in for the night half an hour before sunset so that bats can emerge from their roosts undisturbed.
NEVER try to catch a flying bat, it is likely that you will cause serious injury to it and you may even receive a bite in self-defence! Visit www.bats.org.uk for information about living with bats and advice and tips on wildlife-friendly gardening, bat boxes and how to identify bat species.
Are you having a problem with Bats?
If you are having a problem with bats or you’ve come across an injured bat, you should contact The Bat Conservation Trust or call their helpline on 0345 1300 228. They will give you advice and they can arrange for a specialist to visit your property to advise you on the best course of action, where necessary.