Bats Description and Habitats
Little Brown Bats and Big Brown Bats are the two most common bats found in our service area, with the Little Brown being the most abundant species in New York State. They are typically three to four inches long, weigh 1/16–1/2 of an ounce and have a wingspan of 9.” They have a glossy coat, and are a light brown to a golden color. Their ears are small, black and round in shape and their wings and tails are black as well. The long hair that sticks out beyond their toes is their most distinct characteristic. The Big Brown Bat is typically four to five inches long, weighs 3/8–5/8 of an ounce, and has a wingspan of 12.” Their fur is glossy and can range in color from brown to a glossy copper-color. The fur on their back is darker than the fur on their belly. They have black, small rounded ears and broad noses. Their wings and tails are black.
Bats are unique creatures, especially when it comes to their mating process. The males and females come together in the fall right before they go into hibernation. The female then holds the sperm in her body until she emerges from hibernation in late winter or early spring. Their gestation typically lasts 50–60 days and they give birth in late May through early July. Little brown bats have one pup per birth, while big brown bats have two per birth. The young begin flying at three to four weeks old and begin to leave the roost with their mothers in late July.
Bats are the only flying mammals and can launch into flight from a still position. At dusk and dawn you may look to the skies and see bats swooping above consuming enough mosquitoes, beetles, moths, and leaf-hoppers to equal one-third of their body weight in just 30 minutes. Although bats can see, they do not see well, so they use echolocation to navigate their ways through the skies and into our homes and commercial properties. They emit a series of high-pitched sounds, which bounce off of objects and return to the bat’s highly sensitive ears allowing them to detect and interpret the size, shape and direction of objects. They seek dark, warm, protected environments where there is high humidity. Female bats gather in late spring through summer in colonies to give birth to their pups. Very often, they find attics, chimneys, and basements ideal places to raise their young. These female bats tend to return to the same roost year after year.
Bat Damage and the Health Hazards
Female bats are communal creatures and this very nature creates the perfect recipe to welcome small carnivores, birds, rats and snakes into your home looking for a meal. They are also hosts for various ectoparasites such as fleas, bed bugs and lice. Bats can carry rabies, but relatively few do. Bat guano (fecal waste) in attics may accumulate over time and present a significant health hazard, especially to children and elderly. Bat guano provides a growth medium for microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic. Histoplasmosis is a common lung disease caused by a microscopic fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, which may be found in bat guano. It is important to remove fecal material as well as bat urine that has crystallized. Once removed the area should also be sanitize with an environmentally friendly cleaning enzyme.
Bat Removal and Exclusion Services
Wildlife Busters® Technicians have years of experience in locating wildlife egress points. Bats can fit into spaces the size of a dime. We understand this and more importantly we understand the patterns and habits of the mammal. All of our Wildlife Technicians have been trained through the National Wildlife Control Association and maintain Bat Standards Certifications on an annual basis.
Our bat removal and exclusion process includes the following steps:
- Thorough site inspection to locate bat access points
- Installation of one-way doors where necessary for approximately 7 to 10 business days.
- Seal entry/egress points
- Inspection of the site to ensure that all bats have been removed after a period of 7 to 10 days.
- Once determined that all bats have been eradicated from the residence or commercial property, the one-way doors are removed and entrance way seal accordingly.
- Decontaminate and sanitize as needed.
Our wildlife technicians will use a combination of exclusion materials including, hardware screen, caulking, flashing, and foam. The materials used depend upon the location and what we determine will work best under all weather conditions. All materials are included in the pricing. Please note that all of our wildlife exclusion services come with a 1 to 2 year warranty, which can be extended upon expiration with one of our long-term prevention plans. Please give us a call toll free at 1-855-945-1212 or check out our website for more information.
White Nosed Syndrome
In recent years, the bat population in our area has been decimated by a disease called the White Nose Syndrome. White nose syndrome, is named for the white fungus evident on the muzzles and wings of affected bats. Scientists are still researching and learning about the disease, but they believe it causes the reduction of fat reserves, which they need to survive through their hibernation period. This causes them to leave their hibernacula during the winter prematurely and die. Some signs of white nose syndrome in bats include
- White fungus, especially on the bat’s nose, but also on the wings, ears and tail
- Bats flying outside during the day in temperatures at or below freezing
- Bats clustered near the entrance of a hibernacula
- Dead or dying bats on the ground or on building, trees or other structures.
If you have seen bats with these characteristics, please notify your local DEC office.
Please note, Wildlife Busters® believes in the humane approach to Wildlife Management Services. We understand the important role that bats play in our ecological systems. In light of that, Wildlife Busters® does not recommend bat removal during their maternity season May-July.