Virginia Bat Facts: The Ultimate Guide to Our Nocturnal Neighbors
Unveiling the Mysterious World of Virginia Bats
Virginia is home to an incredible variety of bat species, each with unique features and behaviors. These fascinating nocturnal creatures play a vital role in our ecosystem, making it essential to understand and appreciate them. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into intriguing Virginia bat facts, explore their habitats, and learn how to help conserve these winged wonders.
Species of Bats in Virginia
Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
Also known as the common brown bat, this species has a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches and is characterized by its glossy, dark brown fur. Big brown bats primarily roost in attics, barns, and other man-made structures.
Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
As its name suggests, this smaller bat has a wingspan of 8 to 11 inches and is typically found roosting in caves, tree hollows, and buildings. Little brown bats are known for their agility and swift flight.
Virginia Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus)
This rare species, which is the state bat of Virginia, is easily recognized by its oversized ears and distinct facial features. Virginia big-eared bats prefer limestone caves for roosting and are a federally endangered species.
Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
This tree-dwelling bat is known for its striking reddish fur and white-tipped tail. Eastern red bats roost in tree foliage and are solitary creatures, only coming together during migration or mating.
Other Bat Species
Virginia is also home to several other bat species, including the silver-haired bat, hoary bat, and the eastern small-footed bat, each with its unique characteristics.
Bats’ Diets and Foraging Habits
Virginia bats primarily feed on insects, making them natural pest controllers. They consume large quantities of mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and other insects. Most bat species in Virginia use echolocation, emitting high-frequency sounds that bounce off objects to locate their prey.
Life Cycle and Reproduction
Bats typically mate during the fall, with females storing sperm until spring when they ovulate. Females give birth to one or two pups in late spring or early summer, and the young bats learn to fly within a month.
Threats and Conservation Efforts
Virginia bats face numerous threats, including habitat loss, white-nose syndrome, and wind turbines. To help protect these essential creatures, consider installing bat houses, minimizing outdoor lighting, and supporting local conservation organizations.
Get Involved with Bat Conservation in Virginia
Join bat walks, attend educational events, and spread the word about the importance of bats to inspire others to join the conservation efforts. Together, we can ensure a bright future for these incredible nocturnal neighbors.
Virginia bats are fascinating creatures with essential roles in our ecosystem. By understanding and appreciating their unique characteristics, we can work together to conserve their habitats and ensure their survival for generations to come.
Recently, we have seen an unusually large amount of bat issues in Henrico, Glen Allen, Midlothian, Richmond, Charlottesville and other areas in Central Virginia. The average colony size in our area is 10-12 bats, but in a maternity colony the size grows exponentially.
Facts About Bat Removal in Virginia
- The main species of bats that get into Virginia homes are the Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat and the Evening Bat.
- The main entry points for bats entering our home are attic vents, fascia gaps/openings or any gap/opening 3/8” or larger.
- Bats in our area give birth usually from May – August. Little Brown bats have 1 pup, Big Brown bats have 2-pups.
- Bats should never be killed or harmed in any way – they’re good for the environment.
- If a bat gets into the living quarters of your home: a) Don’t kill it – you may lose the ability to have it tested for rabies, and b) don’t release it back outside – you’ll lose the ability to test it for rabies and it will usually reenter the structure.
- If a bat gets into the living quarters of your home: DO – call your local animal control officer (they usually work thru your local police department or sheriffs’ office). They will come get the bat and submit it for rabies testing free of charge. AND Do – call us for an assessment of your bat infestation. It is unusual for a home to only have a single bat.
- Bat removal and control is a process (usually involves 4-5 steps). It is not like removing a squirrel or raccoon from your home. Leave it to experts like us that are NWCOA Bat Standards Compliant Certified (unlike most so called bat experts in Virginia). A bat job done incorrectly is sometimes worse than doing nothing at all.
- Bat house’s don’t seem to be effective. We’ve only seen one that was actually occupied with bats.
- Bats are good for the environment, but not your home or business. They can carry rabies, their droppings (poop) contains a fungus that can cause a lung disease called histoplasmosis, can infest your home with bat bugs (similar to bed bugs), can cause unpleasant odors, and can stain your walls and ceilings.
- There is NO repellants approved for use on bats. Companies and individuals that spray for bats may be violating Federal and State law, and exposing you and your family to harmful chemicals.
- Bat guano (droppings, poop) is toxic and the removal should be left to experts.
- Bat nets are not an effective or recommended method of bat removal.
- Wildlife control and pest control IS NOT the same thing. Pest control = bugs, and wildlife control = nuisance wild animals
- Bat removal should only be done by professionals that are licensed, insured, trained, certified, and experienced. Bats removal is not for the novice or untrained.
- Our highest calls for service involving bats is usually during the bat birthing season (May – August).
- No two bat jobs are the same. Anyone that gives a price over the phone (without a bat inspection of your property) for bat removal does not know what they are doing – Avoid them like the plague!!
- By next year, doing bat removal in Virginia will require special training and certification = we already have this training/certification. Just because a company/person has been removing bats for many years DOES NOT mean they are doing it correctly.
- Due to the nature of bat bites (small, often unnoticed), evaluating exposures to bats is different than evaluating exposures to terrestrial mammals. Therefore, anyone who has been: 1. bitten by a bat and knows he has been bitten, OR 2. in direct, bare-skinned contact with a bat and cannot rule out that a bite has not occurred OR 3. in a room with a bat and is unable to tell or articulate whether an exposure took place (e.g., infant, senile or unconscious adult) should be considered exposed.* *Particularly in situations involving mentally competent adults where the only evidence of potential exposure is scenario #3 above, further evaluation should be performed to ascertain the likelihood of being exposed without being aware of the exposure.
Other Interesting Bat Facts
- Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly.
- Virginia has 17 of the more than 1,000 bat species worldwide.
- Three of the bat species in Virginia are federal endangered species (Gray Bat, Indiana Bat, and Virginia Big-eared Bat); the Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat, also known as the Eastern Big-eared Bat, is a state threatened and endangered species.
- The bats in Virginia are divided into two categories: cave bats and tree bats. Cave bats hibernate in caves, while tree bats hibernate in leaf clusters, under decaying logs, in hollow trees, or sometimes in abandoned mines or old buildings.
- Bats can live more than 10 years and some species can live up to 30 years.
- Owls, hawks, raccoons, skunks and other animals prey on bats.
Our Service Areas
We perform humane bat remediation services throughout Virginia including most cities and counties. For additional information on our services visit Bat Removal Richmond VA, Richmond Bat Removal, Henrico Bat Removal, Glen Allen Bat Removal, Mechanicsville Bat Control, Short Pump Bat Control, Chesterfield Bat Removal, Midlothian Bat Removal, Brandermill Bat Removal, Woodlake Bat Removal, Powhatan Bat Control, Amelia Bat Control, Hanover Bat Control, Albemarle Bat Removal, Charlottesville Bat Removal, Orange Bat Control, Bon Air Bat Control, Louisa Bat Removal, Fluvanna Bat Removal, and Lake Monticello Bat Removal in Virginia. We are your local bat removal experts for bats in attics.
Service areas for our Wildlife Removal, Animal Removal and Pest Control Service throughout Virginia includes the following cities, counties and towns: Charlottesville, Keswick, Richmond, Short Pump, Glen Allen, Tuckahoe, Ashland, Chesterfield, Midlothian, Woodlake, Brandermill, Amelia, Goochland, Henrico, Hanover, Fluvanna, Lake Monticello, Louisa, Lake Anna, Powhatan, Orange, Arlington, Centreville, Dale City, Lake Ridge, Mclean, Reston, Staunton, Waynesboro, Ashburn, Hampton, Leesburg, Petersburg, Suffolk, Winchester, Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Newport News, Portsmouth, Tuckahoe, Annandale, Burke, Colonial Heights, Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Manassas, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.
Call us at (800) 457-8630 for bat removal services in Virginia. We also found this great website for local wildlife removal and pest control services in Central Virginia.