Big brown bats flying around in bedrooms have Ottawans sheeting themselves.
Warm weather coupled with the increased number of juvenile bats learning to fly on their own has meant an upsurge in bat calls this month for animal and pest removal company Humane Wildlife Control.
“On average, we are doing about 20 bat jobs a day in the Ottawa area and about 50 a day, company-wide,” said vice-president Marc Chubb.
It’s the earliest they’ve ever seen the flying mammals.
While most of the local calls are between Kanata and Orléans, they’re also handling inquiries from Mississippi Mills, Crysler, and Cornwall.
City staff have had only five calls related to bats this year, spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick confirmed Thursday.
The bats were born in the spring, Chubb explained, and “throughout July are learning how to fly as they mature to adulthood.”
Bats are nocturnal, sleep all day inside the exterior walls and attics of homes, and enjoy a constant temperature as they snooze, he said.
With drastic increases in temperature throughout the day during summer, “the bats start walking in their sleep in the walls of the home, looking for a cooler place to roost,” said Chubb.
“When they wake up early in the evening, they are lost and confused and can’t find their way back the way they came and often end up finding ways into the living space of the home, looking for a way out.”
Enter the perturbed homeowner, who generally discovers the bat flying around his or her bedroom as they cower under the covers.
Chubb remembers a funny moment from when the Rough Riders were still in town.
He got a call at 2 a.m. from a homeowner who was awakend by a bat in his bedroom.
“And he’s this 300-lb. gorilla sitting in his driveway with his wife and two kids, and he’s petrified to go inside the house,” said Chubb.
“And I showed up, you know, little skinny me, to catch his bat for him. And the first thing he said is, ‘You’re not going to wear a suit? Where’s your helmet? Where’s all your protective gear?’ ”
Chubb was toting a pair of leather gloves and a flashlight.
“And literally 30 seconds later, I walked out with the bat in my hand and let the bat go, and he was a little bit embarrassed.”
- Bats would rather eat mosquitoes than go in your hair or suck your blood.
- “A bat can eat half to its full weight in bugs, every single night,” said Humane Wildlife Control vice-president Marc Chubb.
- Bats are linked with serious health problems. When bat droppings accumulate, they can cause a disease called histoplasmosis, which is airborne and characterized by flu-like symptoms, said Chubb.
- Bats are a carrier of rabies. “A bat can bite you and leave absolutely no trace,” said Chubb. If you wake up with a bat in your home and don’t know if it has bitten anyone, keep an eye on it. “You should get a jar, catch the bat or call a professional, keep the jar, and call the health department.”
- If you’re bitten, immediately wash the bite or scratch with soap and warm water, or hand sanitizer. See your doctor or go to the nearest hospital for treatment
- In Ontario, rabid bats accounted for 24 cases in 2011
- From 2001-05, 314 bats were confirmed with rabies
- Dracula is the most famous bat in literary history.
- Gabriel Val Helsing is the most famous bat-exterminator in literary history.