If you find a bat

Colorado is home to 18 species of bats.

None are fruit eaters and none are vampire bats! The bats found here are insect-eating bats and they are very beneficial because they consume literally hundreds of insects each night, including mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus. Bats are very small mammals. Many times people call us thinking they have found a baby bat when in fact they have found an adult bat.

The bats we’re most likely to come into contact with are the big brown bat and/or the little brown bat. During the fall months bats in our state are very mobile and therefore we’re more likely to see them. Bats may be preparing for and beginning migration and hibernation. This time of year the phone begins ringing with people that have found a bat and don’t know what to do.

Bats in our state can carry rabies.

That doesn’t mean that all bats have rabies but sometimes bats found on the ground by the public and are tested turn out to be positive. Bats have tiny mouths and tiny teeth. Just because you don’t see or feel the wound doesn’t mean you haven’t been bitten. If you find a bat in your house and if there is even the slightest possibility that someone, even your pet, has been bitten we recommend that you contact your doctor and/or the Health Department immediately, as well as a veterinarian if your pet may have been bitten.

If you find a bat outside during daylight hours there can be a variety of reasons why. Maybe the bat got cold and couldn’t fly. Maybe the bat was injured and can’t fly. Maybe he found himself on the ground and couldn’t get up after a storm. Some bats need a take-off area; they aren’t able to go from the ground up into the air. Bats can be found on the sides of buildings, clinging to the rough surfaces, warming up in the sun. Bats are displaced during construction as well.

Any bat found moving about or on the ground during the day should be considered sick or injured, as this isn’t their normal behavior. If you see such a bat, please do NOT handle the bat or allow your children to handle the bat. Call the Colorado Division of Wildlife at 719-227-5200 during normal business hours or contact us at 719-683-8152.

You can help bats by building or purchasing bat boxes to place outside. Using eco-friendly alternatives to poisonous pesticides are another way to help.