There are a lot of rumors flying around about bats. Thanks to Hollywood, they’re often misunderstood. In reality, though, bats play an important role in the environment. They help to control the insect population and, in some species, pollinate flowers and help scatter seeds. About 40 species of bats live in the United States, and most are insectivorous. Bats are also nocturnal, which may add to their mystery. Because they mainly come out at night, they are rarely seen by humans. Get to know these curious creatures by learning about their day-to-day behavior.

how long to bats stay out at night

What Time Do Bats Go to Sleep and When Do They Come Back Out?

Bats are the most active at night between the hours of dusk to dawn. As night approaches, bats begin to increase their activity. They will start flying around their cave and then leave in search of food and water. Bats will typically feed for about an hour or two, rest for a bit, then feed again before daybreak. If bats have settled on your property and you are trying to spot them, you may be wondering, “What time do bats return to roost?” You will most likely catch bats leaving and returning to their roosts in the early mornings and around sunset. For bats, daytime is usually spent inside a secluded shelter resting, hanging upside down, grooming, sleeping and socializing. Potential roosting spots can include your roof, attic or shed.

Are All Bats Nocturnal?

Most bats are nocturnal – using the darkness of night as protection from predators. Regardless, you may ask, “Do bats like light?” While most will avoid daytime activity, each species can handle different amounts of light. Though in one study, researchers found that the implementation of city lights resulted in a significant reduction of bats. Bats prefer darkness and will stick to the shadows for coverage from predators like large owls. Predatory birds can easily grab bats when they leave their roosts. However, you may see certain species of bats quickly swooping around artificial light feeding on insects that are attracted to the glow.

Prevention and Removal

While bats are essential for the environment, you don’t want them roosting around your home. Bats may carry diseases such as rabies and may also harbor parasites. Though you may have the inclination to attempt to remove the bats from your structure yourself, know that many species of bat in the United States are protected by State or Federal Law and any removal methods should be left to the professionals.

If your area has a large population of bats, prevention methods should be implemented to keep them from nesting on your property. Once a bat chooses a place to roost, it will keep coming back, so have a wildlife professional check your home for any potential entry points. Bats can squeeze into holes as small as your thumb, so they will take a close look around your chimney, vents and rain guttering. Having your chimney capped and covering any cracks with material such as netting, cardboard or wire mesh may also be beneficial.

If bats have found their way into your home, are roosting around the outside, or you’ve seen them hanging out in the area, contact Terminix®. Let our experienced wildlife technicians help determine a safe and reliable removal plan.


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