Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Got Bats?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,217

    Default Got Bats?

    I know there is one other thread here about bats in Alaska, but that was specific to a report in south central... The subject of bats in Alaska comes up periodically, and a recent news story brought it to mind again. Alaska is largely unexplored territory when it comes to small mammal research, bats included, and almost nothing is known about the ecology of our bats in Alaska, especially in the interior.... With the rise of the fungal disease devastating bat populations Outside, it's likely that research into the ecology of of our northernmost bat population will become increasingly valuable. Post your bat sightings / reports / experiences / photos here. Your information might be invaluable to a future grad student biologist, not to mention extremely interesting to those of us non-scientists who appreciate bats.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  2. #2
    Member jkb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    1,466

    Default

    Had two baby bats in the wall of a cabin. I didn't know what the shreeching was so I peeled back the siding to find out what was going on. One baby bat was biting the other and it was making a horrible noise. I let the siding back and left them alone. This was in probably 2006 in the Big Lake area.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  3. #3
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Fork
    Posts
    3,853

    Default

    Back in July, during the long run of fantastic weather, I was camped on a lake out in Katmai, preparing to launch the next day on a rafting trip.
    As I was breaking the tent down the next morning I saw something move under the fabric of the fly. When I removed it, a small, brown bat was suddenly exposed to the sunlight and beat feet (ok, flapped like a MF'er) into a nearby spruce tree.
    Have to say that was a first.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  4. #4
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,790

    Default

    We had plenty of them around Dillingham. Sometimes our cat would bring them home... generally dead, but not always.
    One time I walked into the compound of Crystal Creek Lodge up on Snake Lake and heard some shooting going on in an outbuilding, so I went in to investigate. Turns out one of the lodge hands was blasting bats out of the rafters with a shotgun. Not sure why (not sure what he was doing to the roof either!), but probably the clients were complaining.
    If I had bats around my house here I'd be one happy camper. I believe they are way more efficient at getting mosquitoes than birds are.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Fork
    Posts
    3,853

    Default

    I should have mentioned, here in the Valley they are fairly prevalent where I live. It's nothing to sit on the deck in the evenings and see 'em fluttering around the yard. I actually put some bat houses around the property a few years ago, and along with the swallow/sparrow boxes already in place, the mosquito wars go 'round the clock here.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  6. #6
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mean streets of Fairview
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    I see bats in the evening light flitting around the cabin, in the warmer months. I have never seen one in the winter and wonder of they hibernate or migrate. Can't be much food for them in the winter.
    I caught one once with my net as it was bouncing off the walls inside the cabin. Never thought about shooting one. Anything that eats bugs is welcome at my place. }:>
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  7. #7
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Bats got into the air ducts in North Star elementary school out in North Kenai about 9-10 years or so ago. We had to figure out a way to let them fly out and not be able to get back in. Had a few scared teachers when they made their way through the ducting and started flying around in the school rooms.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default bats

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    We had to figure out a way to let them fly out and not be able to get back in.
    I'm among the "bats are good" people, but if others that need their eradication there are not many ways I've found to accomplish that.

    Working with a bat that is already trapped but not able to be picked up easily (like if you catch them between screen and glass in a window) is a really dicey situation, and they scream so horribly during.... And don't ever try to kill one in that window situation - that is not smart (don't ask how I know that).

    But if they're still flying about indoors and you need them to be outdoors, the only tool I've found that works - and it works quite well - is a tennis racket. Their radar doesn't see the racquet coming, and once you bat them into the closest wall with that, you have a couple minutes while they're stunned to loosely wrap a towel around them, and then toss them towel and all out the front door.

    There are at least a couple aspects to killing them. One is that it is non-optimal because bats do good. The other is that they are extremely hard to kill. And you don't want your fingers anywhere near that large mouth.

    I'd be interested to hear your way to get them out of the school though. Then I'd know two ways instead of one.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    I see bats in the evening light flitting around the cabin, in the warmer months. I have never seen one in the winter and wonder of they hibernate or migrate. Can't be much food for them in the winter.
    I caught one once with my net as it was bouncing off the walls inside the cabin. Never thought about shooting one. Anything that eats bugs is welcome at my place. }:>
    They do indeed migrate and hibernate. There are at least six different species of bats in AK. The most common and widespread is the little brown bat. I believe they need an environment of about 40 F and 80% relative humidity to hibernate though. So probably most of the ones seen in SC or the Interior migrate South. The ones in Southeast AK hibernate in caves. We don't have too many caves in SC or the Interior because we lack the Karst Topography (limestone bedrock). Any of them that do stay probably find a nice home in someone's attic or some other type of warm man-made structure. I will be interested to see the developments of this thread. I find bats fascinating as well. I wish we had more of them. If nothing else, they help keep the mosquito population down. I think I read that they can consume something like 5,000 mosquitos a night. Not sure if this is possible. Can anybody verify if this is true?

  10. #10

    Default

    We used to put moth balls in the attic to keep them out. Seemed to work.

  11. #11
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    I'd be interested to hear your way to get them out of the school though. Then I'd know two ways instead of one.
    We ended up putting some mesh screen over the intake where they where we believed they were getting in. We secured it tightly everywhere except a bottom edge. Here it was loose against the siding, but ridged enough that the bats could push themselves out but wouldn't allow them to crawl back in.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default

    Nicely done. They sure can crawl thru a hole that most all humans would call "impossible". Some of their capabilities are truly incredible.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sitka
    Posts
    164

    Default

    I've seen bats here in SE. I first saw them around the hot springs. I've seen them by our cabin also- in the summer, especially by the lights. The yard light attracts the bugs & it's feeding time for the bats. They certainly are fast! I'd like for some to make perm homes near my yard. Our yard light is near the river- I hear they like that. I wonder if I build an insulated bat house- if they'd stay. =) I'm also on board with critters that eat bugs.

  14. #14
    Member J2theD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    300

    Default

    I have seen them a lot around the Kenai River and Big Lake. We would sit around the fire at Big Lake watching them just pikc off mosquitos all night. We would throw a piece of popcorn up in the air and they would almost always hit that as well. I read somewhere that they can eat 1000's of moquitos a night. Bats on your property is a blessing :)

  15. #15
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Years ago there was a program on kakm about a study that was being done in Juneau or Ketchikan on the bats there. I seem to remember that they were id'ing them by the sounds the make.
    Also remember a concern for the bats in Fairbanks as the animal barns that they were wintering over in were gradually going away.
    I have seen them in Anchorage but get our local one to nest in the house I put up. They are the best mosquito eaters around!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  16. #16
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post


    But if they're still flying about indoors and you need them to be outdoors, the only tool I've found that works - and it works quite well - is a tennis racket. Their radar doesn't see the racquet coming, and once you bat them into the closest wall with that, you have a couple minutes while they're stunned to loosely wrap a towel around them, and then toss them towel and all out the front door.

    I was wondering when someone would mention the tennis racket method. As a kid I was tasked with the job of exterminating bats from buildings that were under construction when they became infested. Through trial and error I eventually determined that a tennis racket was the most efficient implement.

    I have seen flying bats occasionally throughout southcentral Alaska, always on warm summer nights near water.

  17. #17
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,217
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    357

    Default

    A couple years ago in august I was woke up rather suddenly to the wife freaking out that their was a bat in the house. It kept flying up and down the hallway. Got a short handled landing net and caught it. It crawled through the mesh just as I got the door opened to let it outside. That same net also has come in handy for catching chickens. We have lots of huge cottonwood trees around our place so I'm sure there's plenty of places for them to hang out. Saw bats quite frequently this summer.
    I am no longer surprised at what I am no longer surprised at ---Bill Whittle

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •