WILDLIFE

How to avoid conflict with bats this summer

Jul 13, 2023, 10:00 AM

A bat recently found in Salt Lake City tested positive for rabies. Stock photo

SALT LAKE CITY — If you think you’re noticing more bats this summer, you’re not imagining it. Summertime brings an uptick in bats because it’s when young bats are born.

Kim Hersey, Mammal Conservation Biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said people need to take some precautions now that there are a lot more flying around.

“Not only do we have additional bats on the landscape,” she said. “But younger ones are more likely to get in trouble, just learning how to fly.” 

Hersey said they’re no need to be afraid, just be aware.

“In general, bats aren’t that dangerous as long as you take some sensible precautions. The first and foremost is don’t touch them.” 

“Bats can be carriers of rabies,” she said. “Although in the small percentage of the population. But any animal that you are able to pick up or see sick is more likely to carry the disease.”

She said bats do like to make their homes around human structures. If they do find their way into a house, homeowners can leave a door open, turn out the lights and let them fly out on their own. If that doesn’t work, Hersey said to wear thick clothing, gloves and use a box or a net to keep it from touching you.

For more tips and safety information regarding bats, visit the Wild Aware Utah website.

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How to avoid conflict with bats this summer