As the cold weather is in full swing, most of the birds in our area migrated south, and many animals have begun to hibernate. But what do bats do in the Winter? We have many different types of bats in the New York/New Jersey area. And unlike birds, they will actually stay and hibernate.
Bats and Hibernation
These flying mammals will hide out in whatever shelter they call home for a large portion of the winter. Whether in a cave, shed, or attic; bat colonies prefer to stay put in their warm shelter. With the main source of food for most bats, insects, gone during the cold season; they have less of a need to go out into the cold.
Bats in the House
Bats can utilize spaces like your attic or shed as a roost. While usually only smaller colonies will move into a residential property, it only takes a few bats to cause major issues. Bats can tear up insulation, as well as damage items stored within. They also leave piles of disease-ridden guano. Bat guano is dust-like and can be lifted into the air as particulates. In the home, these particulates can move through the rest of the house through your air/heating ducts. But, they can also permeate through floors and walls. Bat guano exposure can lead to a host of diseases and respiratory problems for you, your family, and your pets. Bats also could be carrying rabies or other diseases.
Signs of Bat Activity
How do you know if there are bats above you? Bats are nocturnal and can make a lot of noise, especially near the times of dusk and dawn. Generally, you will hear the bats screech, which can be an annoyance when they are in your home. Additionally, you may hear them scratching at surfaces with their feet or flapping their wings. While bats may not be as active during the winter months, it is usually still possible to hear them moving around within the confines of your attic or crawl space.