Bats sometimes take up residence in homes and other man made structures where their presence may be unwanted. Bat guano & urine can cause odour issues as well as damage & contaminate the spaces where bats have taken up residence . Bats also have the potential to transmit rabies, histoplasmosis as well as ectoparasites such as bat bugs, which are very similar in appearance to bed bugs.
A bat seen out and about in mid-winter is almost surely a Big Brown Bat!
Big Brown Bats are light brown, reddish brown or dark brown in colour and their muzzle, wings and ears are black. They have a 12 5/8-13 3/4 inches wingspan and weigh 0.38-0.88 oz.
Big Brown Bats are the most common bat found in man made structures and are well adapted to human presence and city life.
Big Brown Bats prefer to roost in homes, barns, churches, buildings, storm sewers, caves, mines, hollow trees & rock crevices etc. Big Brown Bats do not migrate to winter roosts like Little Brown Bats do and instead look to overwinter in caves, mines or attics. They may roost singly or in small groups.
Mating occurs in the fall but females do not become pregnant until spring just after hibernation ends. After a 2 month gestational period, females give birth to 1 or 2 young in May-June.
Young are weaned after 3-4 weeks.
Big Brown Bats can live as long as 18 - 20 years but usually have a much shorter lifespan.
Are Big Brown Bats classified as Endangered?
No, fortunately Big Brown Bats have a status of Least Concern (not currently at risk of extinction).
Are Big Brown Bats Protected?
Big Brown Bats are not federally protected but many provinces & states have their own legislation to protect bats from being needlessly killed. Abell technicians are trained to catch & release bats and do the necessary repairs to prevent bats from re-entering the structure, while taking the necessary precautions should any young be present.
Are Big Brown Bats threatened by White Nose Syndrome?
Yes, but it is less common in Big Brown Bats compared to other bat species, as Big Brown Bats prefer to inhabit warm buildings.
Is it true that bat bites often go undetected?
False. If the person is awake & conscious, they will feel a bat bite which is described as feeling like sharp needle pokes.
We found a bat in our home - should we be concerned about rabies?
Bats cannot transmit rabies by simply being in your residence. If a person or a pet is bitten or scratched by a bat please reach out to your local public health office for detailed instructions on how to proceed.
How can I prevent bats from getting into my home ?
To prevent bats from getting into your home it is recommended to seal entry points on the exterior of your home; this can include caulking smaller openings, having chimney caps with 1/4 inch wire mesh installed, sealing around electrical and plumbing conduits and screening over roof gables & attic vents etc.
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