PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Now’s the Time to Combat Bats

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida FWC
Bat Nesting Season Begins Soon

Once bats are nesting in your house, it's illegal to force them out.

Bat maternity season is just around the corner, and while one might not think much about pregnant flying mammals, their nesting habits and the laws surrounding them are important for homeowners to know.

From mid-April to mid-August, the critters gather to birth and raise their young. Know that it is illegal to banish them from your home or other man-made structure during this time period, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). That's because if young are trapped inside a structure and adults cannot get in, the young will die.

Now is an ideal time to check your home for entry points and ensure that no bats are present, and to make necessary repairs.

Terry Doonan, mammal conservation coordinator for the FWC, emphasizes that bats can enter through spaces smaller than your thumb, so homeowners should know the signs that bats are present and know how to prevent them from taking up residence.

Doonan says it’s important to remember that Florida’s native bats are an important part of our ecosystem and help keep insect populations under control. The state is home to 13 resident bat species, including threatened species, such as the Florida bonneted bat.

It is illegal to harm or kill bats in Florida, so guidelines have been developed to ensure that bats are removed safely and effectively outside of the maternity season.

Bats can carry diseases including rabies, so it is important to avoid handling bats, who might bite. Report sick or dead bats here.

Learn more here about bats and how to get them out of a building.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact your closest FWC Regional Office.