Bats

OVERVIEW

Over 40 bat species exist in the United States alone, and nearly 1,000 different species live around the world. They have a bad reputation and are often thought of as flying rats. Although bats are capable of spreading disease, much like rats, their existence is beneficial to humans and the environment in a way rats are not. While some bat species feed on nectar, other small mammals, fish, or, like the notorious vampire bats of South America, blood, the vast majority of bat species are insectivores and maintain a diet of night-flying insects like mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. As these insects are often pests themselves, controlled populations of bats around homes can be considered favorable.
Bat Removal Near You. Bats in the belfry, attic, basement or chimney? Scratching or scurrying noises in the ceiling? Foul odors in your home? Critter Removers can help eliminate bats in your home and prevent them from re-entry.

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Biology & Behavior

The plain-nosed bats and the free-tailed bats are the two families of bats in Utah. The largest is the adult big free tailed bat with a wingspan of 17 inches and a weight of less than one ounce. The smallest, the adult western pipistrelle, is the size of a hummingbird and weighs 1/10 ounce. The fur color of these species is a mixture of tans, browns, rusts, and black, with some white accent. ​Utah bats live in and use a variety of habitats as roost sites. These roosts may include caves and mines, tree foliage, hollow trees, cracks in rock cliffs, and buildings. Most Utah bat species are year round residents of the state that they hibernate during winter. Hibernation is a special adaptation bats use to survive cold periods when insects are not available. In late summer, bats prepare for hibernation by feeding heavily and accumulating extra body fat. Most bats are able to store enough fat to last through the hibernation period, which can last six months. In the autumn, bats seek out cool environments, where they are able to lower their body temperature, breathing, metabolism, and blood circulation to begin hibernation. If repeatedly disturbed during hibernation, the bats may starve to death before spring. Because good hibernation sites are becoming scarce, thousands of bats of several species may gather in a single cave or abandoned mine. The average life span for a bat is 10 to 20 years. Natural enemies of bats include hawks, owls, cats, raccoons, snakes, bobcats, ringtails, and weasels.

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