Bats are fascinating creatures full of contradictions. They’re mammals, yet they fly. They’re small, but they can eat up to three times their body weight. They have sensitive eyesight, yet they use echolocation for navigation and to find their prey.
However, the fact that they inspire curiosity doesn’t mean you want them to move onto your property. As temperatures continue to drop and creatures of all sorts attempt to find a safe place to ride out the winter, it makes sense to understand why bats may want to spend their holiday vacation in your home.
Do Bats Hibernate?
The quick answer is yes, bats hibernate. They typically start in late fall when their primary food source — insects — begins to dwindle. As they hibernate, their body enters a state that requires less energy to survive. While bats have a typical heart rate of 200 to 300 beats per minute, it drops to nearly 10 beats per minute during hibernation.
By reducing their body’s energy usage by up to 98%, bats enter a state called “torpor.” They’ll remain in this state for as long as the temperatures stay around 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be a period of only a few hours or up to a month or so.
Should temperatures drop below that range, bats become susceptible to freezing. If the temperatures climb above 40 degrees, the bats are likely to wake from their torpor.
Where Do Bats Hibernate?
Bats search for the ideal spot to hibernate that has the right mix of temperature and humidity. This leads them to select locations like barns, caves, cellars, churches, mines, tunnels, and warehouses. For manmade structures, they may choose to roost on the ceiling or inside the walls.
These locations typically provide a constant temperature and humidity level. They also offer solitude. Should the temperature or humidity drop or spike or new residents move in, they may seek out a new place to roost.
While you may not think of your home as an ideal hibernation spot, bats think differently. They can gain entrance to your home through holes as small as a dime. This means chimneys, loose tiles, and vents are all potential entry points for a bat. Generally, the higher the entrance, the less likely you are to identify it. This makes it easy for bats to penetrate your home’s exterior.
What Are the Signs of a Bat Roost?
If you’re concerned about bats living in your home, use your senses to watch out for common signs of their presence:
- See – There are three visual indications that bats are living on your property. First, you’ll see the bats leave your attic or crawl space at dusk so they can feed. Second, you’ll see brown stains left by their oily fur on your home’s siding or aluminum trim. Finally, you’ll see an accumulation of droppings on the ground near exterior walls or entry points.
- Smell – If you’re dealing with an entire bat colony, the overwhelming smell of their feces and urine will be hard to miss.
- Hear – You’ll likely hear clawing, scratching, and squeaking inside your walls or ceilings at night or in the early morning. These sounds are often mistaken for mice.
How Can Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control Help?
Bats are a protected species in most parts of North America. Furthermore, once bats begin to hibernate, it is almost impossible to remove them without causing them injury or even death. So, should you need assistance with bat removal in Madison, you’ll need to call in the experts immediately.
At Skedaddle Wildlife, our technicians are trained to assess your property and develop both a treatment and prevention plan that removes the animals humanely and keeps them away from your property. Reach out to us right away if you suspect your home now houses bats.