Can bats fly when it's raining?

Bats are little wonders of the world. They are the only known mammals that can fly. They are able to locate places using their unique echolocation skills. This ability however becomes somewhat dampened when the rains come. For years, it was thought that bats could not fly in the rain because the extra weight of the raindrops makes them too heavy. This is, however, a general misconception. Bats will fly in the rain if they have to. They only choose not to. During the wet days, bats huddle together in caves and roosts, preferring to stay indoors than going outside. There are now some scientific explanations as to why bats do not like to fly when it’s raining.

Sound interference

Scientists believe that the high humidity that accompanies rain can cause hindrance to movement of sound in the air. As bats solely rely on echolocation to move around, locating places can be quite difficult if they cannot hear the sound feedback.

Bat Fly In Rain

Energy conservation

Since bats are not birds, they have to work 10 times as hard while flying to keep from falling. When flying in the rain, bats expend twice as much energy as they would when flying on a regular day. That’s 20 times more energy than an average bird. Many people would think it’s the extra weight of their heavy fur that causes this but alas, it’s not! New research carried out suggests that bats only weigh slightly more when wet than when dry. There are two major explanations for the difference in energy expeditions when wet and when dry. The first is an increase in metabolism. 

cave exploration; Bat Fly In Rain; Bats In Winter

When bats fly in the rain, they get cold causing their bodies to shoot up their metabolism to combat the cold.  Another explanation is that the fur of bats tends to clump together. This makes them less aerodynamic and leads to more energy exertion trying to stay in the air. 

What this means for you

As a homeowner, you may discover that more and more bats find their way into your home once the rainy season starts. Bats are not adapted to fly around looking for food or shelter in the rain so they may just stay put in your home and wait for the storm to pass. The implication of this is that they are extremely difficult to kick out during the rainy season as they may stay in your homes for as long as it rains instead of going out to hunt at night as usual. It is important to put the weather into account when planning to remove bats from your property
as your exclusion device may end up unused while the bats are holed up in your house to avoid rain storms.

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