BAT BIOLOGY: North America is home to many species of bats, but these are the three most common nuisance (colonizing) species in the US: First is the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) which is common in most of the US, especially the more northward states. These bats are small, with a wingspan of 8 inches, and a weight of less than half an ounce. The females form large maternity colonies, often in buildings such as attics or barns. Young are born in June, and can fly by August. They can live up to 30 years, though average lifespan in the wild may be about 7 years. They hibernate in the winter. The Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is also common in the northern areas. It has a wingspan up to 13 inches, and can live up to 19 years in the wild. They mate in October, before winter hibernation, and after a delayed fertilization and a 60 day gestation, give birth to one or two baby bats in early June. These bats often roost in man-made buildings, and love the attics of homes. The Mexican Free-Tail Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is common in the south. It has a wingspan of about 8 inches, a weight of half an ounce, and can live up to 16 years. These bats will form huge colonies, up to several million members in some cases. They mate in the fall, but delay fertilization, and one pup is born in early June, and can fly about eight weeks later. None of these animals are actually blind, but they do use echolocation in order to aid in navigation on the wing. They are all insectivorous, catching insects on the wing.
BAT BEHAVIOR: Bats are nocturnal. They sleep in roosts during the daytime, and emerge at dusk. If it’s a colony of bats living in a building, they crawl to the edge, and fly out. First they head for water and get a drink, skimming the surface on the wing. They then feast on flying insects, primarily moths and beetles. After a while they get full and head back to the roost in order to rest. They then fly back out to feed some more. They may make several trips per night. Bats use echolocation in order to aid in navigation and feeding on the wing. They emit high-pitched chirps and read the sonar-like returns of the sound waves as they bounce back off of objects. Roosting preference depends on the species and even gender of the bats, but we are only concerned with colonizing bats such as the three mentioned above. These colonies are composed primarily of females. The males roost alone in solitary areas, such as trees. The females form huge clusters, very frequently in man-made architecture such as church towers, attics, bridges, etc.
NUISANCE CONCERNS: The primary concern involves large colonies. If it’s just a few bats, it may not be a big deal. However, if you’ve got a typical maternity colony of bats in your home or building or even a barn, it can be a big problem. A large colony is not only noisy and unsettling at dusk and dawn as swarms of bats fly in and out, but the main problem is that they leave their droppings and urine behind. With a large colony of bats, this really adds up. After a while large piles of droppings form. Not only do the droppings and urine corrode wood/metal, but the weight of them can collapse the ceiling below the attic.
Bats are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in houses. The most common complaints include the following:
Bats living in the attic
Bats living in the chimney
Odor due to bat droppings
Bats swarming around building
Loose bat stuck inside home
For these reasons, many people wish to have colonies of bats removed from the building. Please be aware that this is a specialty service.
Bats have been known to carry a variety of more than 60 diseases such as:
Leptospirosis- Bacteria spread from contact with bat droppings (Guano) and urine
Histoplasmosis- Fungal infection of the lungs spread by spores in bat droppings (Guano)
Rabies- Virus spread by biting or scratching
Salmonella- Bacteria spread by bat droppings (Guano) and urine
Give us a call today if you are dealing with nuisance Bats. We offer Free Home Evaluations to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Call Pest Pros at 269-993-0051