Maryland is home to ten different species of the bat, all of which fall under the Microchiroptera family. All of these bats support the ecosystem by eating insects such as mosquitos, stink bugs, and moths.
Given their importance, it is important for individuals to understand the yearly life cycle of a bat.
November – February
The bat begins hibernating in November when the weather begins to get colder and it becomes harder to find food sources.
Typically, these creatures prefer to hibernate on their own or in a small group. They will choose quiet places where they will least likely be disturbed, including old hollowed out trees, caves, or abandoned buildings.
For bats, and numerous other wild animals, hibernation is characterized by low body temperature, slow breathing, and low metabolic rate. This allows bats to survive the winter by saving energy and using stored fat cells as fuel.
By February, bats have used up a majority of their fat stores, which means they will need to leave their hibernation den to find food and water in order to sustain themselves.
March – April
In March, a small number of bats will begin to emerge from hibernation. By April, more and more bats will come out of hibernation due to hunger and thirst.
On warmer nights, the small creatures will come out to feed, but they will quickly return to their dens if the weather is cold.
As the weather begins to get warmer in May, bats will fully come out of hibernation. As their activity increases, female bats will begin forming maternity colonies. These colonies consist of reproductive bats and their pups.
Around the same time, females will also begin searching for suitable nursery sites. Generally, bats will attempt to find old hollow trees to raise their young, but will settle for buildings if necessary. Buildings offer the warm temperatures needed for the proper growth and development of bat pups. This is why individuals tend to find bat colonies living in their house, attic, or barn.
June – July
In early June, female bats will give birth to a single pup. Bat pups are extremely small with thin, grey hair. Mothers will nurse their young with milk until July, at which time, the young bats will begin learning how to fly.
August – October
Once the bat pups reach six weeks old, they are able to catch insects themselves and no longer need milk from their mothers.
Given that the pups no longer need them, the female bats leave the maternity colonies and mating season begins. Males use special purrs, clicks, and buzzing sounds to attract females. Once a mate has been found, the bats begin looking for suitable hibernation sites and begin building up fat reserves for hibernation.
Have A Bat Problem? Call the Experts at Shumaker Animal Control
If you think you have a bat problem on your property, call the experts at Shumaker Animal Control to deal with the problem for you. Our experienced team will take care of the problem in a timely manner, ensuring that your home and pets are not in any danger.
At Shumaker Animal Control, we are a family-owned business who cares about the safety of you and your family but also about the well-being of the animals themselves. All of our trapping and control methods are humane, as we never try to hurt the angry or scared animal.
Call us at 443-854-8072, visit our website or fill out our contact form for more information.