Bats in the Winter
Although bats are not active in the winter, it is still possible for people to run into a problem with bats during the winter months. Bats of Michigan in the winter, go into hibernation in order to be able to survive the extreme cold weather. If a person finds a bat in their home in the winter, it is a good possibility that there is a bat colony that has decided to make the attic, cellar, or within the walls their winter hibernation roost.
What kind of bats are encountered in the winter?
The big brown bat is the most common bat that people will encounter in the winter in Michigan. They are a bat species that can handle these conditions when they locate the proper hibernation roosts for the season. They hibernate because there is not enough of a food source in the winter to support their fast metabolisms. One of the characteristics about these bats is that they live and hibernate in colonies which makes them a big problem to deal with when they have chosen an attic in which to spend their winter.
What type of conditions do they need during hibernation?
In order to be considered a suitable place to hibernate, the habitat needs to provide certain conditions. They need to find a place that is going to support a constant temperature between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The right temperature is critical because if it is too warm, it will burn too much of their energy and if it is too cold, they will freeze. Over time, bats have learned that attics and inside walls can provide the right kind of conditions for them.
Many people expect them to be hanging from the rafters, but this is not the case. If they make their way into an attic to hibernate, they will do so under the insulation. They will hibernate against the warmest part of the room, which will be the floor between the attic and the living quarters of a home.
How do they behave during hibernation?
During hibernation, bats will wake up every couple of weeks. They will move around and even fly a little bit. This movement can cause them to make their way into the living quarters of a home. People will be glad to know that these are not the types of places that they want to hibernate because there is no food and it is too warm for them. It is by accident that this happens.
When can an exclusion be started?
It is possible to start the exclusion process in the winter. As soon as the weather begins to warm up, bats are going to make their way out of their roosts in order to feed. The screens can be put up, but it can be made difficult by a build up around people’s homes and other buildings. But, on those warmer days of winter, the screens can be put in and the access points can be covered so that once spring comes it will be easier to keep the bats from returning the next year.