It is true that lots of people think bats are somewhat cute. Their German name, die Fledermaus, means “flying mouse.” Outside, they’re useful for eating their weight in troublesome bugs, and some help pollinate flowers.
But cute or not, bats have no business being in a person’s attic or any other room in a home. They not only make a mess but are notorious vectors of diseases, including rabies, so it’s important to call a professional to clear them out.
Here are some of the most common bats in Alabama.
Little Brown Bat
The little brown bat is one of the more common bats in Alabama and is a member of the evening bat family. Though it prefers forested areas, it is able to thrive in a wide range of climates.
The little brown bat has ears that are wide apart on its head and a long tail. It feeds on insects found through its echolocation system. It also uses this system to navigate in the dark.
The little brown bat breeds in the summer. After mating, colonies of females gather in maternity colonies to give birth, most often to just one baby. This bat is only about 2.6 inches long, though its tail membrane maybe half the length of its body.
Big Brown Bat
Interestingly, the big brown bat isn’t that closely related to the little brown bat, but it is larger. Its body length is from 3.7 to 5 inches long, and its wingspan can be near twice as wide.
Like the little brown bat, it feeds on insects, though it seems to avoid the moths so favored by other bats. It hibernates during the winter and millions can gather in caves to do so. If there are no caves nearby, the big brown bat will happily hibernate in a house.
Like the little brown bat, big brown bat females gather in maternity colonies to give birth.
Eastern Red Bat
The red bat gets its name from its unusual, rusty red coat. It also differs from other bats in that it gives birth to two, three or even four babies per litter, while most bats only give birth to one. When the babies are young, they hitch a ride on their mother, who is a strong flier even though the weight of her babies may exceed her own.
Red bats that live in the north move south during the autumn then move north in springtime. Like other bats, they hibernate, and when they do their body temperature can plunge to as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit. No other species of bat has such a low body temperature when it hibernates. The red bat is 4 to 5 inches long.
This little bat is found near the water, and a cave, building, abandoned mine, or tree found near a lake or stream is ideal for them. They have yellow-brown fur. Each hair has three colors, which gives the bat the alternate name of the tricolor bat. They’re about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long with a 9-inch wingspan, and females are larger than males.
Eastern pipistrelles breed in August and October, but since the female’s eggs aren’t fertilized until spring, they don’t give birth till May or early June. They usually have twins, which is unusual in bats. Females are ready to mate when they’re as young as three months old which is also when they’re able to fly without help. By the time the baby is five weeks old, they’re independent.
Like many other bats, the eastern pipistrelle hibernates. It does so even in the warm climate of Alabama. They start to hibernate between July and October and emerge in early spring. They find their food, which is a variety of insects including butterflies and moths, through echolocation.
This wide-ranging, slow-flying bat is found in the forest. Unlike other bats, it does not inhabit caves. They will inhabit buildings, however. This bat is dark brown, with black ears, and is from 3 to 4 inches long with a 10 to 11-inch wingspan.
Like other bats, they have delayed ovulation that allows them to breed in the early fall, hibernate through the winter and get pregnant and give birth in the spring.
This bat also has twins, and each baby weighs about half the weight of their mother. When males are mature they leave the maternity colony, but females stay and breed when they’re about a year old.
Call in a Professional For Bat Removal
Bats are fascinating and important, but they don’t belong in a house. Call a professional to have them safely removed.
Here at Covenant our professional team are experts at bat removal and can help you right away. Contact us now.