Identification of Bats
Bats are the only mammals that fly and typically roost in caves, mines, bridges and you guessed it: man-made structures. They are nocturnal and at dusk, they leave their roosts to look for water and food. Bats can see but they also use acoustic orientation called echolocation to locate their dinner. The bats catch insects as they fly, in their wing membranes, then find places to rest and eat. Being mammals, females give birth to live young and produce milk. They nurse their pups, for about 2 weeks. Pups are born blind, without fur and unable to fly. They begin to fly at around 3 weeks. By about 6 or 7 weeks the young are independent. The season that they are born is referred to as the Maternity Season. In Northern California, that time is from May 15 through August 15. During this time bat exclusions are not carried out because of the pups being in the roosting area. If the adult bats leave, the pups will die. Can you imagine many young bats dying in your structure? First, this is unethical since bats have decreased in the past few years. Second of all, could you imagine the smell that would occur with many dead carcasses in your home or building? Most people have experienced the ghastly odor of a dead rat or mouse, but most have never smelled the odor of scores of dead bats in an attic. In the Sacramento area, the most common bat that we deal with is the Mexican Free-tailed bat.