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Found a Bat in the House in Winter? - Help them Survive!

Found a Bat in the House in Winter? - Help them Survive!, Photo by HitchHike

So you have found a bat in your house in winter. What to do about it?

Having a bat in the house in winter can be a good thing. Yep, you read that right

Mostly so, because houses and buildings are the perfect hideaways for bats in winters. Winters are considered as the perfect hibernation season of the year for bats.

While having a bat in the house in winter might not be a big deal, you don't want an infestation happening. 

To prevent a bat infestation from happening you might want to install some good bat houses on the top of your house or building. Bats are not fond of cold, so what you are looking for is installing the bat boxes in warmer areas of your house. 

Bat boxes are your safest bet against keeping your attic bat free. So while you are on a conservation hunt, here are a few things about bats to keep in mind. 

Bats and Cold Weather Don't Blend Well

Unlike us, bats are completely hibernated in colder months of the year. And by hibernation here I mean, staying completely dormant.

They usually wake up around the spring seasons and go back into hibernation around mid-October.

During the bat hibernation, bats are defenseless and are looking for shelters where they have more warmth. This is often why bats choose places of complete isolation, darkness and sheltered places where they can stay safe from predators. 

If we look at bats in winters, they have a super unique hibernation system. They will enter in a completely inactive state for long lengths of time - sometimes as long as 6 months - or even for a few hours. 

The state of hibernation (torpor) can often be switched by bats during the colder months that means rapid change of blood flow and body temperature regulation. This way they can easily and conveniently hunt for food. 

Read more on some interesting bat food choices!

What Temperature is too Cold for Bats

Bats cannot simply survive in freezing weather. In fact not the majority of flying animals can. This means that your bat house temperature must be adjusted somewhere around 45 degrees, anything less than that becomes colder for bats even in hibernation. This is one of the main reasons why often you will find bats in your garage area. 

Also your attic also happens to be the best place for hibernation for bats. It's dry, secluded, dark and warmer than outside. Any place that is cold, dark, secluded and quiet can be a good hibernation spot for bats. Basements, walls in rafters, small crawl spaces, garages, chimneys and sheds are a perfect example of bat winter hibernation spots.

What do Bats Eat in the Winter?

As their hibernation period approaches, bats will prepare for winters beforehand. They will hunt big beetles and insects and fatten themselves on it till the cold sets in. bats will then use these fat reserves during their hibernation period. 

Bats are also known to reserve energy by dropping their temperature from warm to cold. Their metabolism slows down, dropping their heart rate to ten beats per minute.  This way they are able to maintain their lower body temperature in hibernation.

Do bats hibernate all winter?

Sounds promising, but there is a fat chance that they would.

Hibernation period for bats starts somewhere from September till March, but only a few bats are able to sleep unnoticed and unharmed throughout these months. Their hibernation solely depends on what kind of roost they are roosting in. As soon as the roost temperature drops, bats would look for another rooster. 

And of course, they also wake up to cater to their body functions ( to pee and poo) before going back to their deep sleep. 

When do Bats come out of Hibernation?

You shouldn't really expect the bats to be out until the start of the spring. Some bats also mate in fall weather but wouldn't have bat pups till late June. The female bats will store the sperm in their bodies but allow fertilization to happen in April when spring arrives and the weather starts becoming warmer. 

Helping Bats Survive!

How your landscape looks is determined by how you take care of bats!

As surprising as it sounds, it is actually agreed by many experts. This is why it's important to install good Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation certified bat boxes such as big bat box all over your land. It helps bats locate nearby roosters while also being in close proximity with their food. 

This winter you can help bats and your attics, by installing good bat boxes in your garden!