High volume of bat removal calls reported in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Experts at Virginia Wildlife Management and Control say they are seeing an unusually high volume of calls for bat removals.

“Usually we don’t get any bat calls, you know – December, January, February,” Richard Perry, owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, told 8News. “Then, kind of like towards the end of February, March is when we start getting our high volume of bat calls.”

He says he’s been getting calls non-stop since December.

“It was exceptionally rare because we were actually getting callbacks in December and January, which is almost unheard of,” he explained.

Perry says the high volume is likely due to the mild temperatures.

“People think this winter has been really bad. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all,” he said. “Bats are very acclimatized to temperatures. Some bats hibernate and some bats migrate when the temperatures aren’t really cold. Many bats will actually stay behind and hibernate instead of migrating. »

Perry explains that mild temperatures can affect a bat’s hibernation cycles.

“So with these warm temperatures, they come alive and become very active,” he said.

He adds that many bats are found in common areas like living rooms and bedrooms, which could expose you to bat bites. Bats are not poisonous, but can carry rabies. A bite from a rabid bat can be fatal if not treated properly.

Perry said recently they responded to a call for a Chesterfield woman who had been bitten while falling asleep.

“She described it as a very sharp stinging sensation,” he said. “Like that, it was almost like a spider biting her.”

If you find a bat in your home, Perry advises confining it to an area and then calling a professional. If you have been bitten, see a doctor immediately.

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