Description: There are 10 bats species in Ohio. Since 2011 there has been a decline of our state's bat species due to White-Nose Syndrome (fungal disease that is deadly to bats). The most commonly seen bats in Ohio are big and little brown bats. Between the different species in Ohio the fur colors can range from light brown, dark brown, chestnut, reddish brown, and grey. The wing membranes are typically dark brown or black. Some of the species have a furred muzzle and some do not. The wings of bats are thinner and have more bones and flexible joints than wings of birds, allowing bats to be more manoeuvrable and dexterous. Bats are known to be blind but they actually are not. They have poor vision but no bat species is actually blind. They use their vision to guide them while traveling between their habitat and feeding areas. They use echolocation (emit ultrasonic sounds to produce echoes) when traveling short distances. By comparing the outgoing and incoming echoes the auditory and brain nervous system produces comprehensive images of their surroundings.
Habitat and Behaviors: Bats are nocturnal mammals. Bats hibernate in the winter from November to March usually in caves, mines, or buildings. They are active in the warmer months of spring and summer. If not flying the bats are roosting (hanging by their feet). Their habitats include wooded areas, fields, urban, and suburban areas. They are often found in man-made structures like attics, barns, and under bridges. Bats can enter structures or buildings by using openings or cracks as small as 3/8 inch. In the warm months when bats are active the females usually form maternal colonies that can consists of colonies containing anywhere from 15 bats to over 300 bats. Males can often be solitary. Bats usually feed one or two hours after sunset and before sunrise typically eating insects, pollen, and fruit.
Reproduction: Bats mate in the fall typically starting in September, they exhibit a behavior called “swarming” where large numbers of bats congregate just prior to hibernation. Sperm is transferred to the female during this time but ovulation and fertilization are delayed until the following spring when the females are active after hibernation. The female then gestates between six and nine weeks and has her pups in late May to late June. Females typically only have one to two pups but they can have up to five. The pups usually start flying about 30 days after they are born.
Nuisance Concerns: Bats love attics and buildings as they can easily find a crack or opening! Unfortunately they can use these locations as their habitat and form into large colonies with numbers in the hundreds. Their guano (droppings) can accumulate fast especially with large colonies and can pose a serious health risk as it becomes a feeding ground to a fungus call histoplasmosis.
Dangers: Since bats are very social, mobile, and long-lived, they are natural reservoirs of many pathogens. Bats can carry fleas and mites but they also carry more serious pathogens like rabies (a viral disease that causes inflammation to the brain in mammals including humans that can be deadly), histoplasmosis (Infection causing respiratory symptoms often a cough or flu-like symptoms and if not treated it can be deadly).
How can we help?: Removing bats requires experience and knowledge. Many bat jobs are extremely challenging and involve very difficult to reach areas. Our certified and knowledgeable technicians will come and provide you with a thorough evaluation. Based on your specific situation our technicians will exclude them from the premises and ensure that the bat or colony will no longer use your home or business as their habitat. Although bats can cause nuisance they also are a benefit to our environment and many bat species are protected by law. Without killing the bats we will exclude them and ensure they do not return. When we remove the bats from your premises we can thoroughly clean the biohazardous droppings and deodorization to eliminate odor that will attract new animals to your house, thus making your house or business a safer place. This cleaning and deodorizing will also kill the mold and spores that can grow on the bats guano (waste).