Whether it's on the ground or flying around, don't touch it!
A Little Bat Education
Bats are regarded, for the most part, as beneficial animals; they assist in maintaining the balance of nature by eating ENORMOUS quantities of insects. The primary insectivorous bats that have been noted in The Colony are Brazilian free-tailed bats and Red Bats.
Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats
Brazilian free-tailed bats are colonial and extremely abundant during the warmer months, harboring in caves and in and around buildings. These bats typically migrate in September and October, spending the winter in Mexico and farther south. Young are born near the end of June and are hung in masses in nursery caves (concentrations of which are found in the Edwards Plateau region of Central Texas). In addition to caves, this species uses a wide range of man-made roosting sites. Colonies may frequent tile roofs; air spaces between inner and outer walls; areas beneath such attachments as signs, gutters and drain pipes; dams; and bridges.
These bats leave their daytime retreats at dusk and feed until dawn. And their hunting rituals are the primary reason we tend to see these bats: As these animals retreat back to their roosts for shelter from the sun, sometimes, a lagging youngster, an injured adult or an older bat will be caught as day breaks and will try and make roost under a porch or some such overhang. Dogs, cats, and children find these animals intriguing, and will harass these creatures, playing with them or killing them.
Red Bats are the other bat species that is often seen in The Colony. Red bats are solitary, tree inhabiting bats, which are common during the summer months. Although seldom found in numbers, this bat frequently comes to human attention due to its striking rust color and the relatively exposed nature of its daytime resting stations. Female Red bats carry their two to four young until they are able to fend for themselves, the load frequently becomes too much and the young fall to the ground to be picked up by curious pets and children.
What to Do if You Find a Bat
Bats, by law, are defined as high-risk animals for rabies. Therefore, DO NOT touch or play with or try to "help" any type of bat. If an immobile bat is found, place a bowl over it, weight the bowl with a rock or brick and call Animal Control (972-370-9250) to remove the bat.
Also, be sure to warn children of the dangers of playing with bats. It is very important that children understand that touching a bat for any reason is not allowed. Bat bites are not always visible (their teeth are so small that often their bites aren't felt and do not make any sort of mark). Therefore, in situations in which a bat is physically present and there is the possibility of even an unapparent exposure, the bat must be captured and submitted for rabies testing. People exposed to a rabid bat may be recommended for rabies post exposure treatment. Domestic animals exposed to a rabid bat require a series of rabies vaccination boosters and a quarantine period, and in some instances euthanasia if the exposed pet is necessary.
Rabies is a serious virus and without prompt and proper treatment, it is fatal. If you encounter a bat, notify Animal Control immediately: 972-370-9250.