A bat maternity colony is a gathering of female bats that are impregnated and on their way to giving birth. Once the baby bats are born, mothers and pups will form the colony's population. Pregnant female bats create maternity colonies instinctively in order to keep warm while they give birth, and nurse their babies to independence.
When not in the winter season, male bats and non-gestating female bats are programmed to go through short periods of torpor in order to save up on energy when weather is not optimal. Gestating and lactating bats cannot afford this luxury. Being in a torpor state means reducing your metabolic rate and body temperature. For soon-to-be mother bats, this would significantly slow both fetus development and ulterior milk production. Pregnant bats say "no' to this type of summertime hibernation, and get together in groups to help each other save some energy by sharing body heat, all for increasing the survival chances of their species. And it works perfectly.
When leaving their original colony to initiate a different maternity colony, bats will look for a safe place where it's dark and warm, and will often roost in caves, trees, abandoned mine shafts or abandoned buildings, and sometimes in our attic or chimney. The number of adult bats that form a maternity colony can substantially vary from species to species. Some bat maternity colonies may even be in the single digit range while others can reach millions of individuals. Female bats will usually give birth to one pup. Once the offspring are equipped to fend for themselves, the maternity colony will disassemble.
Find out more: Can bats walk on the ground?
As bats play an important role in our ecosystem, bat maternity colonies are usually under state or county law protection, and this means exclusion is not an option. If a bat maternity colony has taken residence on your property, the only decent thing to do is to let nature take its course, and bear any possible discomforts until the colony eventually breaks apart. Exclusion may still be necessary once bat maternity season is over, and cleanup will definitely be a must as bats produce large quantities of waste. Live exclusion, cleanup, and home repairs should all be done by using professional equipment and protection gear.
Learn more: Do bats drink water? How?
If you're seeking professional advice on how to deal with a bat maternity colony that has invaded your property, feel free to use this website as a good resource, and check out the directory of wildlife removal experts I've personally compiled. As all the wildlife control pros listed
here have been carefully selected, I feel confident enough to guarantee that the certified individuals or companies listed for your specific area will be more than happy to pick up the phone or answer an email coming from a citizen in distress, even if only to provide some helpful
information by sharing their expertise.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does bat removal cost?
- get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of bats
- my main bat removal info guide.
Example bat removal photographs
- get do-it-yourself ideas.
Bat job blog
- learn from great examples of bat jobs I've done.