Houses are the perfect winter hideaway for bats. Inside, they receive protection from the cold and predators as they hibernate for the season. However, just because bats feel cozy and comfortable in your attic or basement, doesn’t mean you have to just deal with it and let an infestation happen.
In order to get and keep bats from setting up shop in your home as the temperature plummets, learn more about these wild, winged creatures. We’ve compiled some information below on bat characteristics and tips for keeping them out:
Bats and Cold Weather: Are Bats Active in Winter?
Bats begin hibernation in mid-October and stay dormant until they wake up in spring. In order to hibernate safely, bats need to find roosts where they can stay warm and sheltered. Bats are defenseless while they’re hibernating, which is why they seek out dark, secluded, and sheltered spaces that can keep them safe from predators.
Bat hibernation is unique because they can enter their inactive state (torpor) for highly variable lengths of time. The common little brown bat can hibernate for more than 6 months… or simply enter torpor for a few hours.
Bats can also wake up out of torpor while hibernating more frequently than some animals. Their body temperature rapidly returns to normal and they can fly and hunt for food. Bats frequently “wake up” on warm winter days.
Can Bats Live in Cold Weather?
Bats can’t survive freezing temperatures (even when they’re hibernating). So, how cold can a bat survive? Any roost bats shelter in for the winter must be at least 45 degrees, which is why folks often find bats in their garage in winter.
The Problem with Bats Entering Your House in Winter
Unfortunately, your attic meets every requirement that bats need for their winter roosts. Bats can become a serious problem in the winter when they use your home as an over-winter spot. Once they’re inside, they look for the darkest, quietest spots available, like attics, rafters, walls, shed, crawl spaces, or even your basement, for example.
Why are There Bats Flying Around My House?!
While the bats are hibernating, they remain motionless. In fact, they’re so still, you might not even realize they’re in your house. They likely won’t stay this way all winter, though. Instead, they’ll wake up periodically, hungry, thirsty, and often confused. This is likely the state the animal will be in if you find a bat flying around your house in winter.
When bats fly around your house, they’ll probably produce unsanitary waste in and around their roosts. Although it’s very rare, confused and frightened bats may bite people in your home.
How are Bats Getting into My House?
Bats commonly enter homes through:
1. Small Openings
Bats enter homes by squeezing through small openings; bats can fit into a hole as small as ½”. According to Bat Conservation International, if you can stick your pinky finger in an opening, a bat can squeeze through it.
2. High Up Spaces
Openings that bats get through tend to be up high, on siding, roofing and awnings, along utility lines, and around window frames.
3. Damage in the Home
Bats also often fly through unscreened vents or chimneys. Probably the most common way bats get inside is through damage to your home: torn screens and vents, loose shingles, missing chimney caps, and rotting siding can all create bat-exploitable openings.
Bats may also inflict minor damage of their own to get inside. They’ve been known to squeeze through thin layers of insulation or punch through damaged weatherproofing.
How Do I Keep Bats Out of My House this Winter?
Excluding bats this winter is all about cutting off their access points. To make sure bats don’t bother you this season, follow these tips:
- Inspect bat-vulnerable areas like your attic, crawl spaces, rafters, and basement. Look for any signs of structural damage and openings.
- Use caulk or other tools to repair the openings. Pay special attention to corners, baseboards, and window frames.
- Look for any unscreened exhaust vents or chimneys. Install any screens to block off access quickly and easily.
- Walk the perimeter of your home. Look for any signs of damage that bats may use to squeeze inside. Make sure you look for any gaps between utilities like downspouts, gutters, chimneys, or pipes.
Keep Bats Out of Your House with Professional Wildlife Control!
Follow the exclusion tips above to keep bats out of your home. If you’re still struggling with wildlife in your home and you just don’t know what to do with bats in winter, it’s time to get in touch with Varment Guard Wildlife Control! We can get and keep bats out and prevent any future infestations. Contact us today!