Bats are not active in the winter, they are not flying around and they are not feeding on insects because they cannot survive the harsh Canadian winter outdoors. When the weather turns cold this is just the start of potential bat infestations on your property . Bats look for access into a nice cozy spot, like your attic, to hibernate until things warm up again.
In the wild, bats will live in many different places and often hibernate in mountain caves or abandoned mines, but in urban areas like Whitby, they favour our nice, secure, warm homes. This makes bat control in towns and cities essential.
What is hibernation?
Most people think that hibernation is a deep sleep from which an animal does not wake up until it warms up. But that is not strictly true. During hibernation bats will enter a very deep sleep, their body temperature drops, their metabolism slows and they survive on their fat stores. But they do not necessarily remain asleep the entire time. Bats are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. An extreme swing in temperature can cause them to wake up and look for a warmer, more comfortable place to sleep. This means that big brown bats hibernating in your home will wake up from time to time and fly around the attic.
Homeowners are often surprised by bats in their living rooms in winter and they assume that the bats have flown in from outside. But that is not possible as the bat would not have been able to survive outdoors. This bat will have been living in your walls or ceilings and is now looking for a new space to hibernate. Unfortunately, if you find one bat in your living room it usually means that there is a colony living in the walls or attic of your home.
What should you do about bats in your house in winter?
To be honest, there’s actually not much that you can do. Bats can generally not be removed from a property while they are hibernating because bat control experts do not remove a colony one bat at a time. They set up one-way doors on bat entry points that allow the bats to leave the house to feed on insects but once they have left, they can’t re-enter the property. During winter when bats are not leaving the property to feed, there is no humane way to remove them and it is best to leave them in the attic until spring.
Bat control is a tricky business and something that you should not attempt on your own. If you have a bat flying around your home in winter, close the door to the room, seal the space below the door and call an expert to take care of the removal process. Bats can be dangerous if frightened and being bitten by a bat can raise serious health issues as they carry diseases, including rabies.
You can also not just catch a bat and release it outdoors in the winter as it will not survive. A qualified wildlife technician will safely remove the bat from your home and take it to a suitable rehabilitation center, where it will remain until the spring.
Once the bat has been removed, the wildlife control expert needs to inspect your home to see if a colony has taken up residence in the attic or walls. Where there is one bat, there are usually more. After the initial inspection, the expert will be able to advise you on preventative maintenance measures that can be taken to avoid future bat infestations. This will include closing off all entry points and fixing any external cracks and holes in the walls and roof – a bat only needs an opening one centimeter in diameter to access a home.
If you are concerned about bats or any other wildlife in your home contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control today to take care of your bat control needs in Whitby.