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Bats

Appearance

Bats belong to the order Chiroptera, which means "handwing". They are the only mammal that can truly fly. Florida has 13 resident bat species. Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind. Their vision is adapted for low light levels. However, bats can maneuver in complete darkness using echolocation. Echolocation is the use of sound waves to detect objects. Bats emit high pitched sounds and listen for them to echo back. The length of time it takes the echo to return tells the bat how far away it is from an object. This allows the bat to fly in the dark and hunt for food. Bats' feet are uniquely adapted for grasping structures so that they can rest while hanging upside down. Bats undergo a state of torpor in the daytime; their heart rate and body temperature decrease so that they can conserve energy. Because of this, bats are reluctant to fly in the daytime even when disturbed. If they are forced to fly, they must first raise their body temperature and heart rate.

For their size, bats have the longest lifespan of any mammal. Some can live for more than thirty years.

Habitat

wild bat removal cape coral flBats live in many different habitats across Florida. They can be found from sandhills to the hardwood forests along the banks of rivers, and probably even in your neighborhood! For bats, one of the most important parts of their habitat is an area to roost. Some bats, like the Brazilian free-tailed bat, the evening bat, and the big brown bat are colonial, meaning they gather together in a colony to roost during the day. Other species, like the Seminole bat and the tricolored bat, are solitary, meaning that they roost by themselves. In Florida, natural roosting sites can be cracks, crevices, and hollows of trees, caves, dead fronds of palm trees, Spanish moss, and tree foliage. Bats also use manmade structures including buildings, bridges, culverts, tile roofs, and bat houses.

Behavior

Florida's native bats are insectivorous, meaning they eat insects including beetles, mosquitoes, moths, and other agriculture and garden pests. In fact, bats are the most important controller of night flying insects because a single bat can eat hundreds of insects a night!

In Florida, bats mostly mate in the fall and winter. The female does not usually ovulate until the spring when the insect population increases, but she can retain sperm for months before ovulation occurs. Most female bats only have one pup per year. For their size, bats are the slowest reproducing mammals. Pregnant females of some species will gather together in nursery colonies. Bats do not build nests. They normally give birth from mid-April through July, and their young begin to fly within 3 to 6 weeks. Juveniles are then weaned from their mothers and by mid-August the young are able to forage and fly on their own. Bats will not reach reproductive maturity until they are about one year old. This is considerably longer than most small mammals.

(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Bats CANNOT be removed from April 15th-August 15th due to Florida State law. All removal needs to take place between August 16th-April 14th.

Inspecting, deterrent netting, and exclusions can take anywhere from 2-14 days depending on how quickly the bats vacate the property. This is frequently covered by HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE and only requires you to pay your deductible. Call us today to have us do an inspection and provide an estimate. All work is guaranteed.

(239) 471-6285

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