Last call to remove bats before end of season

| 12/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island science and nature news, bat conservation(CNS): Bats living in roofs are always insect-eating species – not fruit bats – and each one eats up to 2,000 per night, as well as playing an important role in plant pollination, so if you find these harmless creatures in your roof, don’t think of them as pests but as critical components tothe Cayman ecology. If you have bats in your building they can only be moved out of buildings safely until mid-May when baby bat pups are born, so now is the time to call for help. Volunteers at the Bat Conservation Program say you can call them if you need help removing bats permanently and humanely, at 916-6784, the Wildlife Hotline at 917-BIRD, the National Trust at 749-1121 or contact info@caymanwildlife.org Bats not out before the deadline cannot be properly removed until November.

According to the BCP, to find out if there are bats in your building, go outside at dusk, just after sunset, but while the sky is still light, and watch. If you see bats emerging, do not plug the hole. Plugging holes can trap bats inside, forcing them into your living areas. Bats can be sealed out (not in!) using simple methods and volunteers are available to advise and/or recommend qualified professionals to assist.

Bats give birth to only one pup per year. Bat-pups cannot fly for several months and remain in the roost while their mothers go out to catch insects. For this reason, exclusions are not done during the summer when these flightless young are present. Often people don’t realize that they have bats in the roof until summer when they hear the young ones squeaking as the mothers return to nurse them in the quiet pre-dawn hours. To avoid the long waiting period, the Bat Conservation Program is hoping to reach everyone with this message in time so that bats can be moved before the mid-May deadline.

“Bats are harmless. Each one eats up to 2,000 mosquitoes and other insects, including crop and garden pests, every night. But, they should still be moved out of roofs to avoid odour problems. We want to help get bats out of houses and calm fears,” said Lois Blumenthal, Coordinator of the Caribbean Bat Conservation Project for Bat Conservation International (www.batcon.org) and Director of the Bat Conservation Program for the National Trust. “Our goal is for all bats to live in bat houses and no more bats in roofs.”

With the cooperation of Caribbean Utilities Co Ltd (CUC), Ron Moser’s Machine Shop and extensive volunteer labour, there are over 80 bat houses in all districts of Grand Cayman. They provide alternative habitat to help to keep bats from moving into roofs. Bat houses are a great success but bats won’t move out of roofs without an exclusion.

Bats are part of the balance of nature and helpful to humans in many ways, notably, the control of insects but they are also important pollinators and seed dispersers. Bats living in roofs are always insect-eating species. Fruit bats have never been found in roofs here and do not use bat houses. Bat houses can only provide habitat for three of the Cayman Islands’ nine species. The other bat species need forest and cave habitat to survive.

For free information, a map of Cayman Islands bat house locations, photos of local bats, or to download an educational slide show about the Cayman Islands Bat Project, visit www.caymanwildlife.org The National Trust Educational Program Manager visits local schools with a presentationabout Cayman Islands Bats and free information is also available on www.nationaltrust.org.ky
 

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (3)

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  1. Lois Blumenthal says:

     You are writing of something that occurred nine years ago in 2001? I don’t know how this happened. Perhaps I didn’t get the message. I am absolutely obsessive about following up every call, even "off-season" in the summer- including a free on-site assessment, sponsored exclusions for the indigent, and I provide all our information free of charge. I can’t provide free roof repairs, but always do my best to help home-owners solve this problem and remove bats effectively, economically, permanently, humanely and using environmentally sound methods. This program, is supported by the National Trust, but is ALL Volunteer with no paid employees. Our bat house program provides alternative habitat for roof bats and helps keep them out of buildings – we are working towards having enough bat houses to provide for all roof bats to prevent problems like yours. Our bat houses are Ivan-tested and hurricane proof. We currently have over 90 in place throughout the islands. Please contact us and expect a prompt courteous response in a timely way if you have any problems at all with bats. I’ve very sorry for your experience and assure you it is not usual. I did not see this post earlier, or would have replied sooner. You can always reach me at info@caymanwildlife.org or visit http://www.caymanwildlife.org or http://www.caymanwildliferescue.org 

     
  2. anonymous says:

    I know of a house roof that  was infested with bats.   Several telephone contacts were made for help.  It became very scarey!!! still prompting the calls, for help.  When the person arrived, the story was that they would be nesting in June.  To our suprise no one ever showed up and it went on for approx.  3 years and  finally, Ivan took the house with bats  and that was the end. 

    Good luck  with the bats.

  3. Joe Average says:

    Who drew that picture?