Due mostly to their size, there are far fewer encounters with microbats than the megabats, however there are still significant hazards requiring a rescue. The situations that most often arise with microbats are as follows:
Colonised in roof or walls of dwellings
This is the most common complaint about microbats and sometimes requires considerable effort to rectify the situation. The technique is one of exclusion rather than removal and then replacing with an alternative roost site such as a microbat box.
Roost site disturbance
This occurs when the tree, cave, tunnel or other structure that the microbats are inhabiting are disturbed for whatever reason and the bats are displaced. It is dreadful to even ponder the fate of bats living in the hollows of branches that get lopped. We are generally called upon to help relocate animals and for this we need to obtain a damage mitigation permit.
Domestic pet attack
Due to their size (microbats being approximately mouse-sized when fully grown) can be the target for cat or dog attacks if found foraging on the ground for insects. Injuries inflicted by domestic pets are usually, but not always, fatal.
This happens when windows or doors are left open, or for any other reason a microbat finds itself trapped inside a house or shed. It may be days before the bats are eventually noticed. A rescuer will usually need to rehydrate and feed the bats for up to several days prior to release. Sometimes microbats will colonise unused chimneys and surprise a homeowner who lights a fire underneath them! They become disorientated and may come down into the house itself, requiring capture and relocation outdoors.
There have been occasions when bats have flown into the sticky strips of fly paper used for trapping insects. Unfortunately these traps sometimes catch bats too, and it is a tedious process removing the sticky substance from their bodies.
This is fairly common around areas that have swimming pools and is often combined with a swimming pool rescue. Microbats in small numbers are often attracted to closed-up canvas umbrellas and their presence is only detected when the umbrella is opened or droppings are noticed on the table or decking below. We usually advise people to leave the umbrella open overnight, and then remove it for a few days and put up a microbat box as a replacement home.
There are also times when microbats are hit by overhead fans, generally resulting in bad fractures.