Bats

TruckBatThe little brown bat is the most common winged mammal found in Rhode Island and throughout New England. This species is especially associated with humans, often forming nursery colonies containing hundreds, sometimes thousands of individuals in buildings, attics, and other man-made structures.

Bats feed over forest trails, cliff faces, meadows, and farmland where they consume a wide variety of insects.  Feeding on moths, beetles and crane flies, an individual bat can catch up to 1,200 insects in just one hour during peak feeding activity.   In nature they are beneficial creatures that pollinate flowers through their feeding habits and consume numerous insects.

When bats choose to roost  indoors it is necessary to undertake some form of bat control due to the diseases they are capable of spreading to humans.  Often, outdoor roosts need to be built to attract the mammal away from the home.

If you awaken to a bat flying around inside your home, the RI Health Department will most often recommend rabies vaccinations.  It is important to have a qualifed expert collect the bat for examination by the Dept of Health.  If the bat is not rabid, chances are the family  members will not need to be vaccinated.  When people are not sure they were exposed to bat saliva and cannot collect the bat suspected, vaccinations will be necessary.  Never handle a bat as they are a possible carrier of rabies.