Growing Information of Michigan's Fascinating BatsThis page gets updated from time to time. Be sure to come back.
Michigan bats and their characteristics.
Knowing the type of bats you have in your attic is one of the important steps when determining how to evict them. As a company that has dealt with bat removal in Michigan for quite a while, we have encountered different types of bats that seek shelter in both residential and commercial premises. Our aim is to educate you on how to distinguish between the different types of bats found in Michigan so you can have a bit of knowledge when contacting the appropriate wildlife control company for bat exclusion.
While these creatures can be quite a nuisance when they make their scratching and chirping noises at night, not forgetting the dangers posed by bat guano, they are actually very interesting. For instance, bats are protected under the law as endangered species so you cannot just decide to poison or forcefully evict them! Also, while most people see bats as mice with a pair of wings, they are indeed mammals like us.
Whether you were just looking for facts about bats, or you do have a bat problem that you would like to learn more about, let’s explore the types of bats in Michigan, their characteristics and unique features. There are nine types of bats that are common around Michigan.
They are quite different from each other, and most of the time it takes the expert services from an experienced company like Bat Removal and Prevention to know the right criteria to get rid of them. We seriously pride ourselves in the fact that no Michigan bat problem has ever been too complex for us!
General facts about bats.
- They are the only mammals that have the ability to fly.
- They use a technique called echolocation to navigate around and find food. This means that although they can’t see, they emit a high frequency sound wave that cannot be heard by the human ears. This sound bounces back to them, giving the bats an idea of where their prey is or where there is a structure that they need to avoid.
- Bats are very important in the ecosystem, playing the role of controlling the insect population. They eat insects like beetles, mosquitoes, ants, moths, flies, etc. In the process, they control the spreading of the West Nile disease.
- Although bats have been said to carry rabies, it is only a very small percentage. A rabid bat does not attack humans, it lies down in solitude. You must however never try to touch a bat because it may bite.
- Bats are also preyed upon by animals like feral cats, owls, raccoons and skunks. This is why they sometimes seek shelter in attics, away from these predators.
The big brown bat (Eptesicus Fuscus)
This is the most common type of bats that reside around Oakland County. They prefer to roost in warm and sheltered attics, although some can also be found in trees. These bats are the largest of the Michigan bats. You can identify them by the glossy brown fur on their back which gets lighter towards the belly. Their wing membrane, tail and small roundish ears are black.
They also have rather fleshy lips and a somewhat broad nose when compared to the others. Their average weight is about 14 grams, with a wingspan of up to 16 inches. Females tend to be colonial, coming together to form groups of about 20-500 to raise their young. The male bats typically roost in much smaller groups of 4 or 5 when they are taking breaks from feeding or when hibernating.
Their mating period is in between the fall and winter, although the female stores the sperm during the hibernation period. She then becomes pregnant during spring, giving birth to one or two pups. These pups are blind from birth. They however tend to grow very quickly and can be free from their mothers’ care in a period of 4-6 weeks. An interesting fact about this bat is that it is also believed to be the fastest, with speeds of up to 40mph.
The Little Brown Bat (Myotis Lucifigus)
With a wingspan of about 10 inches, they are easily spotted in many Michigan residences. They have a reddish brown coat that is sometimes darker although it gets paler on their bellies. Their most identifiable feature is their mouse-like ears. These bats prefer to eat insects like mayflies or stoneflies, but they also eat beetles or wasps to supplement their diet. Just like the big brown bat, they also mate in the fall then go into hibernation for winter, emerging to bear their young in spring. The bats can live in very large colonies of up to a thousand, occupying cabins or attics that they can access.
The Hoary Bat. (Lasiurus cinereus)
The bat gets the name ‘hoary’ from the appearance on its fur, which kinda looks like it has been dusted with frosting. It is purely solitary and is easily recognized by its unique style of flying and short rounded ears. They also have a rounded nose and small beady eyes. Their wings can be longer, although they usually stretch up to a width of about 38cm or 15 inches. Their body weight is about 35 grams and their body actually looks like a fat mouse. These bats also have a very strong set of teeth. The bats have a special preference for beetles and moths. Just like the other bat species, the hoary bat migrates to the south to hibernate for winter, and practices the delayed fertilization process to get their babies in the spring. Although the hoary bat can be found roosting in trees, they also get inside warm attics in Michigan and seek shelter especially when they need to raise their young.
The Eastern Red Bat. (Lasiurus Borealis)
These bats are characterized by long silky fur which has a distinctive red tinge. Males have a deeper color than the females. Their shoulders have patches of frosty fur. This color makes the bats blend well with dead leaves where they prefer to roost in trees during the day, which means they are very rare in Michigan houses. Their length from head to rump is about 3-5 inches, while their wingspan could go up to 13 inches. They eat all types of insects including beetles, ants and flies. Although the bats are purely solitary, they are usually spotted in groups during the mating or migrating season, when they head south to hibernate then head back north to get and raise their pups. These pups are born blind and hairless, but they grow very quickly and could be independent in about four weeks.
The Tri-colored Bat. (Perimyotis subflavus)
This is one of the smallest bats in existence, which makes it common for people to mistake it for a large moth. They hardly ever form colonies, preferring to hang in solitary when they roost in the trees. The bats are not commonly found in Michigan residences. Among their distinguishing characters is their pale yellowish fur that could sometimes be a dark reddish brown. They have a weight of about 5-8 grammes, and their wingspan is 26cm. The bats hunt at night, looking for insects like mosquitoes, beetles, bugs and ants. They also hibernate and give birth to their pups in the spring. Their young take about a month to be able to fly on their own.
The Silver-haired Bat. (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
It is not a very common bat in Michigan. The most distinguishing characteristic is its icy appearance, thanks to the silvery tinge on its otherwise black fur. Its ears are also short and rounded. The average weight is about 8-12gms and the wingspan goes to about 31cm. These bats are solitary, so they do not pose the danger of invading a house in large colonies. They generally prefer to roost in loose tree barks, especially the trees that have deep crevices like the willow, ash or maple trees. These bats are not different from the others when it comes to hibernation and mating. They mate before winter, then go into a rest that lasts them all winter, keeping the sperm for fertilization during the spring. When a female silver-haired bat is about to get her pups, she roosts with her head facing upward, extending her tail membrane to form a pouch that catches her young ones so they do not fall to the ground. These young ones grow by her side and can fend for themselves in about 4 weeks.
The Indiana bat. (Myotis solidalis)
Many people tend to confuse this bat with the small brown bat. In fact, it sometimes takes an expert to tell the difference. This is because they have the similar brown fur although others are grey. Their females are larger than males, and their fur is much softer than that of the small brown bats. They weigh about 7gms, with a wingspan of 26cm. These bats prefer to roost in trees like oaks and elms, although when their habitat is destroyed they could migrate to an accessible attic. They tend to mate in the fall, go into hibernation for winter then emerge to fertilize their eggs in the spring. The mother usually gets one pup. The young one relies on its mother’s milk for up to 31 days, then it can comfortably fend for itself. These bats are among the endangered species. They can be quite a nuisance especially when a large colony seeks shelter in an attic in your house.
The Evening Bat. (Nycticeius humeralis)
It is another endangered species of bats, which means although they can be found in Michigan, they are very rare. They have a distinctive dark brown coat of fur, with completely black ears. The nose, wings and tail remain bald throughout their life. They weigh about 6-14 grams, with a wingspan of 12 inches. The females prefer to live in colonies. When they mate during the fall, the female stores the sperm in her reproductive tract, only fertilizing her egg in the spring. When the pups are born, they depend heavily on their mothers. After a period of about 3-4 weeks the males leave the colony to live solitary lives, but the female pups remain with the colony.
The Northern Long-eared Bat. (Myotis septentrionalis)
These bats have long rounded ears which could cover the face when the bat is laid forward. Their wingspan is about 10 inches, with a weight of 6-9 grams. They are colonial bats, with the males roosting separately from the females. Sometimes there is a formation of a maternity colony, where mothers form a colony to raise and protect their young together. These bats are not different from the other species that practice delayed fertilization, getting their babies in the summer. They generally prefer to roost in forested areas, in tree barks, and could even seek shelter in attics or tall buildings like churches. Expelling a colony of these bats requires wildlife control services to avoid harming them.
Many people knowingly or unknowingly contribute to the extinction of bats, which is very dangerous considering the role they play in the balance of the ecosystem. For instance, people use inhumane exclusion methods that kill a whole colony of bats. Others use crude means like smoking out the bats, leaving a whole generation of pups to die in the attic. This is uncalled for. When you have a bat problem, contact the right people who know how to safely evict them and prevent their returning back. This way, you will not be breaking any law and you will have contributed in the survival of these insect controlling flying mammals.
We Offer Bat Removal Services In Michigan.
Bat Removal and Prevention Inc. is a company that has provided reliable bat control services to residents of Oakland County, Macomb County, Lapeer County, Michigan and the surrounding areas. It is of utmost importance that we ensure our means of bat eviction are humane and in compliance with the law, so you can rest assured that we know our way around proper bat removal methods. We are licensed to provide wildlife control services to both residential and business premises around Michigan, something that we have efficiently done for years. Apart from excluding the bats from your home, we also clean up bat guano and provide full restoration services, repairing damages and generally making sure that the bats do not have a way of accessing your house again. Do not get stuck with a bat problem that can easily be solved! Contact us to learn about our affordable packages. We are always ready to assist you with top notch bat removal and prevention services.