Bats are out and about from dusk to dawn in search of food sources such as mosquitoes, June beetles and other flying insects. This means swooping and diving amongst the trees and shrubs near your deck. Bats also want nothing to do with you.
Don’t take offense to this. It’s just that unlike mosquitoes or bed bugs, we have nothing to offer bats. They don’t want our blood or our meat. Few people (outside of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control technicians) will even come close to a bat colony in their lifetime. Even when we’re up close to the groups of hanging bats they whizz and swoop around us as if we’re wearing a Harry Potter invisibility cloak!
Why do they hang upside down?
It’s believed to be the best position for a bat to take off from. It’s difficult (although not impossible) for bats to take off from a stationary position on the ground, so they cling to rafters, branches and other locations high above our heads.
Being in this position also allows bats to hide from predators. The stillness and compact position makes it difficult for predators to identify them. Physiologically, a bat can hold this position for a long period of time without exerting much energy. There is very little tension put on their tendons, allowing the grip to remain strong. The weight of a bats body closes the grip on their talons as it hangs! How cool is that?
How many bats have rabies?
It’s impossible to tell if a bat has rabies by looking at it — but the risk is always there. A small percentage of bats carry rabies, but it’s the number one cause of human rabies transmission in North America.
Never handle a bat without protection against biting. We recommend calling a professional if you have bats inside your home because the risk of encountering a bat is so high at that point.
Remember, bats aren’t out to get you! They can become disoriented and lost inside a living space, so sneaking up on a bat and trying to grab it isn’t going to help that bat feel safe.