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Big Brown Bat

Danger/Damage

Bats sometimes take up residence in homes and other 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 can transmit rabies, histoplasmosis, and ectoparasites - bat bugs similar in appearance to bed bugs.


Did you know?

A bat seen out and about in mid-winter is almost always a Big Brown Bat!

Big Brown bats are one of the fastest bat species, capable of reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour.

Hanging upside-down assists bats in flying because they are mammals, not birds or insects. Bat's “wings” are not strong enough to lift them up to fly and they are unable to run fast or jump prior to lifting up.

Big Brown bats roost in maternal colonies of 20 to 100 adults, with females responsible for the care and feeding of young.


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Big Brown Bats are light brown, reddish-brown, or dark brown, and their muzzle, wings, and ears are dark brown to black. They have an average 33 cm (13 inches) wingspan and weight 13-20g (0.5-0.75 oz).


Big Brown Bats are the most common bat found in structures and have 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.

The Big Brown bat uses echolocation to capture flying insect prey, avoid obstacles, and communicate.


Mating occurs in the fall, but females do not become pregnant until spring after hibernation ends. After about 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 up to 19 years but usually have a much shorter lifespan.


  1. Beetles are one of its favourite foods.
  2. Natural predators of the Big Brown Bat include falcons and owls. Snakes, raccoons, and domestic cats prey on young bats if they fall from roosts.
  3. This nocturnal species plays an important role in maintaining insect populations, with each consuming thousands of insects in a single night.

Are Big Brown Bats classified as endangered?

No, fortunately, Big Brown Bats have a status of Least Concern (not currently at risk of extinction)

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Are Big Brown bats protected?

Big Brown Bats are not federally protected, but many provinces & states have their 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 precautions should any young be present.

Are Big Brown bats affected by white-nose syndrome?

Yes, they are affected by white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome is the result of a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans that invades and ingests the skin of hibernating bats, including their wings.

Is it true that bat bites often go undetected?

False. If the person is awake & conscious, they will feel a bat bite described as sharp needle pokes. Big Brown Bats will bite humans if they feel threatened, provoked, or sick. However, bats are small and can bite a human without them ever knowing it when they are sleeping or children. Seek medical treatment immediately if bitten or suspected to be bitten by a bat due to possible contraction of rabies.

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 the roof gables & attic vents, etc.


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