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Certain events happen at certain times during the year for bats as a species. For example, during the winter months, bats will form a colony and hibernate during these harsh months. Then during the early summer months comes the mating season where the males will pair up with a partner and impregnate the females. However, arguably the most important season during the year for bats, especially for female bats, is the maternity season.
This is an event that will happen during the mid to late summer months where female bats will form a colony with other pregnant bats and band together to ensure safety and warmth during their pregnancy. This colony will be typically ten bats in total but can rise depending on the setting and species of bat in question.
There are several reasons why bats will form this colony. The most prevalent tends to be due to the harsh conditions that many bats will have to face depending on the region in question. So, this grouping allows bats to share body heat and remain warm even in harsh weather and unforgiving environments.
Not only this, there is an important reason why these bats are keen to keep consistent body temperatures.
When bats fall below the ideal temperature when pregnant, they will enter a state of Torpor which is a means of conserving energy. However, if a bat does this when pregnant this will not only slow down the development of the pup, but it will also slow milk production. So where possible, a bat will ensure ideal temperature, hence the colony.
When a group of pregnant bats forms a colony, they will be pregnant for between six to nine weeks. This varies depending on the availability of food, the weather, and the species of the bat in question. Then once the baby bat is born, the mother will care for their young until they are old enough to fly on their own. This will take approximately five weeks. Once this period has elapsed, the colony will disband.
Encountering a bat maternity colony, especially when it is in your home, can be a rather daunting and unsettling thing. However, you should exercise caution for two key reasons. The first being that you can face prosecution for removing a bat maternity colony from your home. These are protected by law to ensure a balanced ecosystem. So if you choose to remove, kill, or disband a colony, you will risk the possibility of a fine or jail time as a result.
Also, aside from this, if you do choose to go through with using an exclusion device to get rid of the colony, you will only partly succeed. You will most likely succeed in unsettling the mother bats and have them take off. However, the mothers will abandon their young, leaving them to die in your home. This will cause a very strong odor and the possibility of further issues such as removal costs and the risk of rabies. So, it is in your best interest to wait until the end of summer when these creatures will leave on their own.