Bats in Your Home
If you are seeing bats in your living areas a few times a year, it is likely a sign that a bat colony is living in your home. Most animals are creatures of habit, and bats are no exception. They will return to the same house year after year, and may even hibernate in your attic spaces. Bats have a very high metabolism, and can get cold very easily, so they often seek out areas of high heat, making attics an ideal choice. Attics are also a particularly popular place for bats because they offer a warm, dry, safe place to feed and raise young.
A colony of bats can range in size from 1 bat to up to 5,000 bats! They can live up to 20 years, and typically only have one baby a year. Bats are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are active at night. This helps them stay cool and retain proper body moisture. They use echolocation, rather than sight, to hunt their insect prey in the dark. Bats are more active in late spring and summer, and usually migrate to warmer climates in the colder months, however they can sometimes be found hibernating in warm attics.
Potential Warning Signs
If you have:
• Brown or grayish stains near the roosting entry site
• Droppings (guano) underneath the entry site
• Musky odor
These are all indicators that you likely have a colony of bats in your attic. The musky smell is caused by the bat itself and its urine, not the feces, so most of the smell will subside once the bats are removed. You may also hear bird-like chirping, or “roost chatter,” noticeably in the evenings before they would emerge to feed. If you suspect that you have a bat problem you can monitor your home at dusk to see if there are bats exiting the roost.