FWC: Bats in Buildings? Autumn is the time for exclusions.
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding the public that fall is an ideal time to keep bats out of your home or other buildings. While Florida’s 13 native and beneficial bat species typically nest in trees, caves, or other natural spaces, they can also be attracted to man-made structures.
Bat maternity season, the time when bats give birth and raise their young, ended on August 15. Fall is the ideal time to bat-proof your home after the bat pups have been weaned and can fly and forage on their own. Fall is also when you can legally ban any bats that might occupy a structure on your property. The use of exclusion devices is only legal from August 15th to April 15th.
Exclusion devices that allow bats to leave a building but prevent them from returning to roosts are the only legal and appropriate way to remove bats from your home or building. It is illegal to kill or harm bats in Florida. Bat exclusion is a multi-stage technique that identifies all of the potential entry and exit points for bats in a building. In order to legally exclude bats, elimination devices must be left in place for a minimum of four nights and must be performed when the nighttime temperature is forecast to be 50 Â° F or more.
Bats are environmentally and economically beneficial. They fulfill critical functions worldwide due to their role in pest control and as pollinators, seed dispersers and fertilizers. Florida’s bats are insectivores and a single bat can eat hundreds of insects, including mosquitoes and other garden and agricultural pests, each night.
Florida is home to 13 resident bat species, including endangered species such as the Florida crested bat. There are several ways that Florida residents and visitors can help our bats:
- Maintain natural sleeping places, including trees with cavities and peeling bark.
- Dead fronds on palm trees can be used by bats as a sleeping place.
- Install a bat house on your property.
- Report unusual bat behavior, sick or dead bats: MyFWC.com/BatMortality.
For more information on how to properly exclude bats, as well as other tips on how to protect your home from bats, visit MyFWC.com/Bats and click on Bats In Buildings. Learn more about Florida bats and how you can help them thrive by visiting MyFWC.com/Bats.