Facts

Little brown bats are one of the most common types of bat in North America. They thrive from Alaska to northern Florida but are absent from the plains region, where conditions are not suitable. Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly, and the little brown species can speed through the air at up to 22 mph.

Appearance

These flying pests have fur that is light brown in front and tan or beige in back. About the same size as mice, little brown bats have wingspans of around 10 inches. Hairless wings, sharp teeth, and small ears give the animals a distinct appearance.

Diet

Nocturnal feeders, these bats typically hunt over water sources like ponds or streams. Flying insects, such as mayflies, moths, and mosquitoes, make up most of their diet. A single little brown bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes in one night.

Habitat

Little brown bats live in most parts of the country. Since most of the insects they eat depend on water, the bats roost near rivers, lakes, and streams. When the weather starts getting cold and food becomes scarce, they migrate and hibernate. Groups of bats will gather and spend the winter sleeping in caves or abandoned mines.

Entry into Homes or Yards

Unlike some species, little brown bats roost in relatively open areas. This means they will not usually invade the living spaces of homes, instead preferring uninsulated attics and barns. However, a rabid bat may approach people or become hostile if disturbed.

Problems & Damage

Bats can carry rabies and spread this virus to people and pets. Bat poop, called guano, may also host the fungus responsible for histoplasmosis. Guano becomes airborne dust when it dries, making it easy for people to inhale fungal spores when working in barns and sheds or cleaning up attics.

Prevention & Exclusion

Any exterior opening larger than one-half inch is a possible entry point for a little brown bat. Homeowners can seal these gaps with caulk or mesh screen. This is effective at keeping bats out, but any bats trapped inside can lead to bigger problems.

Trapping & Removal

Because they are fragile and carry disease, bats can be problematic to deal with. Bat guano is especially dangerous for homeowners, because cleaning it up safely requires special equipment. For humane removal of little brown bats, contact the pest control specialists at Trutech.