Bats are a large group of mammals, including 1116 known species spread throughout the world . Unlike flying squirrels, which actually glide, bats are considered the only true flying mammals. They are most active at night and roost during the day in dark and secluded places. Bats have been falsely associated with witchcraft, sorcery, haunted houses, cemeteries and evil in general. Over the years they have been the subject of fables, folklore and myths, unfortunately these myths still exist today and serve as a basis for unfounded fear.

Although bats eat bad bugs, they are a medical concern as their old droppings, or guano, may harbor a fungal organism that causes the lung disease Histoplasmosis. Also, a very small percentage of bats are infected with rabies. Furthermore, bats can be associated with ectoparasites, such as bat bugs and bat ticks. When bats abandon their human’s roosting dwellings, these ectoparasites will eventually attack humans seeking blood meals. Therefore, bat-proofing practices are very important to keep them away.

Identification
Big brown bats are relatively large - about 4 inches in length- and having a wing span of 12-14 inches, and weigh about 1/2 ounce . Little brown bats are about 3 inches in length, weighing about 1/4 ounce It is difficult for most to tell the difference between the two. Treatment procedures are the same.

Facts
•    Bats are flying mammals, not birds. The mother has one baby called a pup and feeds them milk. They are not born from eggs like birds. The pup will stay with the mother for one year.
•    Bats mate in the fall, and the young are born in June - July (usually only 1 per year).
•    There are no Vampire bats in Minnesota.
•    There are only two species that invade homes in our area: Large Brown Bats and Little Brown Bats.
•    Although bats are not a reliable control mean for mosquitoes, under controlled lab conditions with no other choices, one bat eat about 600 mosquitoes in an hour
•    Bat droppings can carry several diseases such as histoplasmosis. Great care should be taken prior to cleaning up droppings as the dust like particles can get airborne easily, breathed into your lungs, and spread disease.
•    Bats have a “functional” eye and are nor blind, but rely on their “sonar” to navigate during flight.
•    Bats are very clean animals. Bats clean themselves and each other meticulously by licking and scratching for hours.
•    Bats, when at rest, cannot just “fly” like a bird. Bats must first go through a “warm-up” period, in which they stretch in an effort to get the blood flowing to the muscles in their wings.

Habits
Bats are active at night. They use sound reflection technique named “echolocation” to locate a prey . Insectivorous bats, such as big brown bats and little brown bats feed on different flying insects, including wasp, beetles and moths . During hunting, they will seek out protected areas (overhangs, soffits, above doors, etc.) to “rest/eat/digest” during the night. Homeowner may see droppings below these areas. Bats hibernate in protected shelter, including attics. These hibernation places should not be too cold or too warm. If the bats are exposed to warm air during sunny days in the winter, they tend to move to cooler places to save energy. On the other hand, they will also move to warmer places, especially when exposed to cold winter air in the building. During this process, people may hear squeaking or scratching sounds, as bats are moving between pipes, wires, insulation, and wall voids. Big brown bats will generally hibernate in a different location than where they “roost” during the summer. But, they can hibernate in homes and various structures, such as barns and sheds. Little brown bats on the other hand are known to abandon their roosting places in buildings and migrate to hibernate in groups inside caves or mines