File photo of bat swarm. Photo Credit: jazle (iStock).

File photo of bat swarm. Photo Credit: jazle (iStock).

Bats have started migrating to their summer roosts in northern Colorado making sightings more common. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is warning the public to be aware of the bat migration as you may find them lurking in your patio umbrella, under leaves, and between log siding.

RELATED: Colorado residents face blood-sucking bat bugs

Colorado is home to 18 different species of bats. They can be found in every habitat across the state from the eastern plains to the high mountain forests to civilized areas. While some bats live year round in the state, others are only passing through.

Bats plays an important role in our ecosystems by helping to control insect populations. A single brown bat can eat more than 150 mosquitoes and crop pests in less than 15 minutes. That's more 600 insects in one hour! 

Bats can carry rabies and should only be handled by a trained professional. If you find a dead bat or see multiple bats in one area, please report it to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7771.

The public is also asked not to disturb hibernating bats and to respect cave closures.

Editor's Note: Migratory bats are protected by federal law. It is illegal to kill them.

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.

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