Bats are the only mammals truly capable of unaided flight. In fact, their bodies are designed specifically for flying, and the adaptations that make them capable of flight also make them poorly suited for walking around on the ground. If you see a bat on the floor of your home or the ground outside it, the animal is probably in distress. For their safety as well as yours, bat removal requires professional handling by wildlife control in Madison.
Which Species of Bats Can Walk on the Ground?
There are only two bat species, out of 1,400 in the entire world, that can walk on the ground. Neither of these species lives in North America, so you are unlikely to encounter them in Madison.
Vampire bats live in South and Central America. They do not live any further north than Mexico. The vampire bat is an obligate carnivore, meaning that it has to feed on animals, which in this case means drinking blood, to live. Vampire bats mostly feed on livestock and only rarely bite humans. They are able to walk on the ground because they have stronger and thicker back legs than other bats. The ability to walk helps them to get closer to their prey.
The lesser short-tailed bat lives in New Zealand, specifically on the North Island. It is also called the burrowing bat. It doesn’t necessarily burrow underground, but it does forage for food on the ground as well as hunting in the air. It is able to propel itself along the ground because of physical features that allow it to make its wrists stronger. It adapted this ability in the days before colonization when there were no natural predators to threaten it. Unfortunately, with the introduction of predators from elsewhere in the world, the lesser short-tailed bat’s status is now vulnerable, its closest relatives believed to be extinct.
What About Climbing?
It is normal for a bat to climb. Bats do not have the ability to take off from the ground, so if a healthy bat finds itself in a position where it cannot take off, it will climb up a tree or another available surface to gain enough altitude to be able to fly. Bats’ wings have thumb-like digits equipped with sharp claws that allow them to scale a surface that is adequately textured, such as tree bark. A smooth surface may foil their climbing attempts.
What Does It Mean if You Find a Bat on the Ground?
If you find a bat moving along the ground, it may be injured and unable to fly. A bat that is unable to fly uses its claws to drag its body along the ground without putting pressure on its hind legs.
What Should You Do if You Find a Bat on the Ground?
Finding a bat on the ground outside and knowing that it is probably hurt, your first instinct is probably to want to help. However, you should never try to pick up or handle a bat. You could injure it further. The bat, not understanding your good intentions, may try to bite you in self-defense, which could expose you to diseases. You could also be exposed to diseases if the bat urinates or defecates on you. For a bat on the ground outside, you should call wildlife control in Madison to report it and receive instructions.
If the bat is on the floor of your house, it is a different matter. This means there are more bats hiding nearby, and having bats living in your home is a health hazard.
When To Call for Bat Removal
If you find any evidence of bats in your home, you should call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control right away. Bats are endangered and have to be handled according to regulations. Find out more about how we remove bats from your home while remaining in compliance with the law.