RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Experts with Virginia Wildlife Management and Control say they’re 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 right around end of February, March is when we start getting our our high volume of bat calls.”
He says he’s been getting non-stop calls since December.
“It was exceptionally uncommon because we were actually getting back calls back in December and January, which is almost unheard of,” he explained.
Perry says the high volume is likely because of mild temperatures.
“People think this has been a really bad winter. It actually hasn’t been bad at all,” he said. “Bats are very acclimated to temperatures. Some bats hibernate and some bats migrate when temperatures aren’t really that cold. A lot of bats will actually stay behind and hibernate as opposed to migrating.”
Perry explains the mild temperatures can affect a bat’s hibernation cycles.
“So, with these warm temperatures come up, they’re coming alive and they’re becoming very active,” he said.
He adds many of the bats are found in common areas like living rooms and bedrooms which could put you at risk for bat bites. Bats are not venomous, but can carry rabies. A bite from a rabid bat can be fatal if not treated properly.
Perry said just recently, they responded to a call for a Chesterfield woman who was bitten while going to sleep.
“She described it as a very sharp, stinging sensation,” he said. “Like it, it almost felt like a like a spider bit her.”
If you find a bat in your home, Perry advises to contain it to one area then call a professional. If you’ve been bitten, get medical help immediately.