What bat maternity season means for SWFL

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Joey Pellegrino
A roosting bat. Credit: WINK News

If you don’t want to spend months living alongside any bats that happen to be roosting in your home, you need to check for them and make sure they are gone before April 15, when bat maternity season starts.

In Florida, it’s illegal to kill or harm bats, so you will need to undertake the bat exclusion process to get them out of your home. This process identifies any potential entry points before a device is used that allows bats to leave your home and doesn’t let them come back in. Experts say you need this device in your home for four consecutive nights and the temperature needs to be above 50 degrees those days.

Bats can get into your home via the smallest openings, even less than an inch wide, and they like to stay in spaces that are higher up, like in your attic. Lisa Thompson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says having bats outside your home can actually be beneficial.

“If you have a bat house in your yard and not houseguests inside your home, those bats are going to help you out by consuming many, many mosquitoes: A single bat can actually consume thousands of insects in a single night,” Thompson said. “They’re also helpful with consuming agricultural insects that are considered as pests, as well, so that’s pretty beneficial here in Florida and worldwide.”

In Florida, there are 13 native bat species, and Thompson says keeping them safe is important.

“Bat exclusion is not permitted during that maternity season, because if you had mother bats roosting say in your attic, they exit at night to go feed and they try to get back in but they can’t, what’s going to happen is you have offspring inside your house that are not flighted, they’re not going to be able to leave themselves and they’re not going to survive,” Thompson said.

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