1. What Is a Bat Roost?We may be more familiar with the concept of a "bat cave," but the reality is that bats live anywhere that is dark, safe, and at a predictable temperature. Since they are nocturnal and hunt for food at night, bats need a dark place to sleep during the day. They also need a place to feed and care for their young, away from predators and harsh weather. A roost is any place that accomplishes these goals for the bat family.
2. Where Will I Find Bat Roosts in My Home?While some bats do famously live outdoors and under bridges such as the iconic South Congress bridge in Austin, Texas, most bats prefer to live underground, in hollow trees, or indoors. Attics are common locations for bats to build a safe space for themselves. They especially like the corners of the roof peaks and joists. Bats may also roost in your cellar (since it is so cave-like), underneath a patio, in a crawlspace, or on the underside of garage eaves and awnings.
3. Do Bats Use the Same Roosts Throughout the Year?Not necessarily! In the winter, bats will roost for hibernation, while in the summer they will roost for maternity and having babies. They usually pick different locations to roost, depending on the weather and season. During the winter, bats are more likely to hole up in your attic. They want to be up off of the ground to avoid snow and ice. In the summer months, however, they will likely migrate down into the wall cavities where it is cooler (heat rises!).
4. Are Bats Protected by Law?Almost every bat in British Columbia is protected by law. Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, it is a criminal offence to kill a bat, even when they are in your own home. Eight species of bats are listed as "specially protected mammals."
- Big Brown Bat
- Eastern Pipistrelle Bat
- Hoary Bat
- Least (Small-footed) Bat
- Little Brown Bat
- Northern Long-eared Bat
- Red Bat
- Silver-haired Bat