Information for Tourism Industry
Do you have bats at your accommodation?
Bats carry a bad reputation due to misinformation and fear. When tourists come across them during their holiday stays, some may react negatively, while others might be well-informed and thrilled to see a bat.
Why do bats matter?
Bats are important to our ecology and economy. They are the main consumers of night flying insects. In the U.S., bats contribute $23 billion per year in free, organic, pest control services.
Unfortunately, bats are in trouble, and half of the bat species in BC are listed as ‘at risk’. The majority of BC bats give birth to only one pup per year, and only about half of those young make it through their first winter.
All kinds of things affect bats, including habitat loss, wind turbines, persecution by people, and susceptibility to White-Nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is a deadly disease caused by an introduced fungus that decimates bat populations. WNS does not affect people.
Bats are classified as wildlife under the BC Wildlife Act and are protected from harassment and killing. Bats live in natural and urban areas near lakes, ponds, and wetlands and are amongst the most common wildlife.
Tips on how to manage your accommodation building
- Bats take a break at night after hunting for insects. They may fly into covered patios, carports, or breezeways to rest. If you find a bit of bat poop on the ground in the morning, you’ll know some bat friends were visiting. It does not mean they are getting into the building, just resting on the outside.
- Bats hunt for insects after sunset. If deck lights are on, they will attract insects. It’s important to use window screens and keep doors closed so that bats don’t accidentally fly into a room chasing a mosquito.
- For best practices on how to manage bats at your property, visit the following resources: Excluding bats from a building – BC BATS