Dead Bats

Asked April 23, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

A client brought in a dead bat. This client has found six dead bats over a period of time and is wondering why they would be found dead and whether they are harmful to any other animals.

Alpena County Michigan

3 Responses

There's a lot you didn't tell me, such as where the bats were found or the time period.

Bats can starve to death. They can freeze if something happens to their winter shelter place. There are diseases that can kill them. There is an outside chance they died from rabies.

The dead bats might be more of a risk to other bats than other animals. But we don't even know what they died from. Eating a dead animal with bones and hide can make dogs sick if they don't regularly eat such items.

All this has to be general because I don't have a great deal of information to work from.

More information: The bats were found on the client's deck in a time frame of April 14 through April 23. They do know the bats roost near the top of their log home. They have seen bats flying, but not on all days. The client lives in northern Michigan. Could the cold weather be affecting them?

Did your client do any house repair that would have excluded the bats? Repairs that would affect bats would likely have been in the gabel-end vent areas or ventilation cans on the roof or around the chimney. Bats would have been living in the attic, not on the outside of the house. This does not sound like disease. It would be almost impossible for a heap of bats to all get sick and die at the same time.

Below-freezing temperatures and being stuck outside near where they used to enter could have caused the bats' demise. Obviously, don't pick up dead things with bare hands, and use good sense when disposing of the unlucky bats.