Bats

What are bats?

Bats

Bats in Lake Orion, MI are unique in the fact that they are the only warm-blooded mammal that is capable of true flight. Most bats feed mainly on insects, helping to control pests in the Lake Orion area. Bats live together in small to large groups called colonies, and have exceptional hearing they use to hunt their prey with.

Physical features of a bat include the following:

  • Wings instead of arms or front legs
  • A claw-like structure that acts as a “thumb”
  • Leathery skin void of hair covering the hand-like bones in the wing
  • Hair covering their body and head that is usually black, brown, gray, or red
  • Ears that are noticeable and sit up off the head

Are bats dangerous?

Many people fear bats. First, they aren’t the most cuddly looking creatures, and second, they swoop around right as the sun is setting, causing people to be startled by their presence, but the truth is that bats are beneficial to have around. Their feeding habits help to control populations of nuisance insects.

Like with any wild animal, care should be taken around them, and you should always give them their space, never cornering or intentionally provoking them. Bats do have the ability to bite people, and their presence introduces some health risks.

Bat are vectors of serious diseases, including rabies, which they can infect both us and our pets with. Like other wild animals on their bodies, they carry a high number of parasites like ticks, fleas, and bat bugs that they infest properties they are living on with. Another serious problem with bats is a fungus in their feces (Histoplasma capsulatum), which causes serious health problems in people, including lung disease.

Why do I have a bat problem?

Bats tend to be most problematic on properties that have or are located near areas of standing water (ponds, lakes, pools, man-made water features, birdbaths, puddles). Standing water tends to have large populations of mosquitoes, and other insects near it, which bats use as a primary food source.

Once bats are feeding on a property, it won’t be long before they decide to stay and use your home, garage, or barn as a resting spot during the day. Bats only need a tiny space (¼ to ½ inch) to enter through and often move inside through open chimneys, gaps at roof intersections, holes along the roofline, vents, or open windows and doors.

Where will I find bats?

If bats have decided to turn your home, garage, or barn into their new roosting spot, they typically gather in dark, quiet, dry spots. Bats are nocturnal, so they hunt at night and return to their roosting sites to nest during the day.

Some of their favorite indoor roosting sites include:

  • Attics
  • Chimneys
  • Crawl spaces
  • Wall voids

Bats are most active right at dusk when many insects, including mosquitoes, are also very active. If you are seeing bats swooping around your home at dusk or dawn, it is a good indicator that they may be roosting inside of it. If bats are in your home, you may hear them moving around or begin to smell the strong foul odor that a build-up of their feces produces.

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