Dave pictured on cover WCT Magazine
Bats hibernating, or bats flying in House during the Winter
During Michigan's winter months, some people experience bats getting into their living quarters. These people have a colony of bats hibernating in their attic or walls and a bat exclusion is necessary for their removal.
Is this the only bat in the house? No. The species of bat that hibernates in SE Michigan homes is the Big Brown Bat. This species live and hibernate in colonies.
Winter Bat flying Activity - Do Bats Hibernate? In order to survive the cold Michigan winter months, bats must hibernate. This is due to the fact that there is not enough insects flying around in the winter to support an active metabolism. Bat require specific temperatures for hibernation ranging from 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Big Brown bats have figured out that attics can provide the perfect temperature for survival and have adapted to hibernating in attics rather than caves.
If the hibernacula temperature is too warm, then they expend too much energy. If the temperature is too cold, then the bat colony will freeze in the cold winter months. Generally, this means that they need to snuggle up under insulation to get near the warm side of a ceiling or wall. This is why you rarely see bats hanging in an attic in the winter - it is just too cold for survival. People who have a colony of bats in their home often describe a "scratching" sound or occasionally get a bat inside their home. We believe that the bats move around and adjust their position based upon the temperature.
During hibernation (or more accurately torpor), Big Brown bats commonly wake up every couple weeks. During this awakened period, they may move around or even fly short distances. During this time, they may accidentally exit a gap in a recessed light fixture, cold air return, open attic hatch or wall. People commonly report finding bats in basements. Many of our customers are thankful to hear that basements, bedrooms and family rooms are not suitable for bats in the winter. This is due to the fact that there is little food (flying insects) for them to eat. If they stayed awake in a warm home, without hibernating, then they would starve.
We can begin the bat exclusion process during the winter months. Once the cold weather breaks, the colony will leave your home naturally at the first opportune time. Michigan's weather is unpredictable, and we never know exactly when this will occur. We do not recommend that you wait until Spring, since our schedule books quickly and we just can not predict when a colony will decide to take to flight. During the winter, we periodically get thaws where enough snow melts off your roof and completing the work is possible. As you can imagine, we take advantage of these times to work through a backlog that develops due to the snow accumulations.
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