Only four out of twenty-four bat species tolerate living near humans and can often be found in buildings: the Mexican free-tailed bat, the Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis), the little brown bat, and the big brown bat. There are six bat species occasionally found in buildings: the western mastiff bat (Eumops perotis), the pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus), Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii), the long-eared myotis (Myotis evotis), the fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes), and the long-legged myotis (Myotis volans).

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Can grow big or small
  • Bats are mammals; they have hair, produce body heat, and nurse their young
  • Most bat species are black, brown, and gray in color
  • Lightly built for flying, usually at night while roosting in dark places during the day
  • Bat wings contain 4 long fingers which support the smooth skin and a short thumb with a sharp, hooked claw used for grasping things
  • Knees only bend backward
  • Mouth similar to one of a fox or rat
  • Large, pointed ears
  • Only able to land upside down
  • Use their feet, which have five, short-clawed toes, to support them while hanging upside down

DIET:

  • Insects
  • Nectar
  • Pollen
  • Fruit
  • Frogs
  • Fish
  • Rodents
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Blood

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HABITAT:

  • Bats are highly adaptable
  • They typically reside in caves where they have access to water, safe places to hide from predators during the day, and plenty of food
  • Live in large colonies of their kind
  • Abandoned mine shafts
  • Under bridges
  • Will roost under large trees that have full branches and leaves in many areas
  • Dark, safe structures

DAMAGE:

  • Bats can be pests when they invade your home to roost
  • Several highly fatal diseases have been linked to bats such as rabies, and histoplasmosis

CONTROL:

  • If bats are inside your home, try to eradicate them by closing the interior doors and opening all exterior windows and doors in the area containing the bats
  • Wear leather gloves to capture the bat and place it in a container to relocate it to the outdoors
  • Under California law, property owners/employees may legally remove bats that are causing damage to the property
  • It is illegal to possess or capture bats for any other reason without a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Be aware of illegal pest control companies that want to fumigate or poison bats to kill them
  • Poisoning, fumigating, and killing bats is illegal under both federal and state laws
  • Best way to get rid of bats is to remove or wait for the bats to leave their roost and then permanently seal up any access points (except during maternity season-April-September)