Bats in the basement sink

Asked April 28, 2018, 12:38 PM EDT

We have a seasonal home in Western NY that is unused/unheated during winter months. There is no water, but there is RV antifreeze in the traps. We occasionally find a bat in the basement sink. Most of the time the bat is dead, but we recently found a live bat in late April. We called the DEC, put the bat in the car for a while to warm it up then put it under a tree. Why do these bats always end up in the sink? Is it an indication that the bat is unhealthy (rabid) or are they just desperate for water? I'm guessing once they get in, they can't get out. Thank you.

New York

1 Response

Hello, I will try to explain bat biology and give you some tips for when you close the house up later this year.

Bats seek any type of shelter to harbor during migratory times or in some cases they will "hibernate" in certain places over the winter. What happens during the winter months is if the air warms up then they wake up and want to search for food.
For the bat to be in the basement means they have some access into your house and can find their way to a sink. Yes they are looking for water, but also in a closed environment they are limited on flight as well. Once they are grounded (flat on the ground, sink, container, etc.) there is no wind under them so they cannot get airborne. Birds can launch themselves off the ground, but bats don't (think of batman and how he drops off a building) they must use wind to help them to become airborne.

Look around your home, if you see dark greasy spots (see images attached) then you want to be sure and seal those up. Bats will use homes as summer harborage sites so you have to be careful when you seal up to not seal them in.
see this website for more information http://www.batcon.org/resources/for-specific-issues/bats-in-buildings
Hope this information is helpful