When do Bats Come Out?

Bats are nocturnal; creatures of the night that are rarely seen during daylight hours. These flying mammals tend to emerge around dusk and spend their nights hunting insects, before heading home at dawn. But what do bats do during the daytime, and could the artificial lights in your garden mess with their day-night routine?

What time do bats become active?

Everyone knows that bats are most active at night, but what time do bats come out to feed?

Bats are most active between dusk and dawn, and will only come out of their roosts after sunset. Little brown bats (a common bat species in North America) emerge 2 – 3 hours after dusk.

How long do bats stay out at night?

Bats always return to their roosts before sunrise, but do they stay out all night hunting?

bats at night

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Bats use their active hours to drink, feed, and mate. They will typically hunt twice per night, spending up to two hours at a time chasing down bugs on the wing. Many bat species will rest between their hunting sessions and, when they’re finally full, head home to sleep.

Are bats active during the day?

A small number of bat species hunt during the day, but the vast majority of bats are nocturnal. This means you are very unlikely to see bats in the daytime.

Bat activity during the daytime is generally considered ‘odd behavior,’ which could be an indication of rabies.

Rabies is rare in bats of the United States, but you should never attempt to approach or handle a bat.

If you are concerned about a bat on your property, contact your local wildlife service for advice.

Where do bats sleep?

Bats sleep upside down in roosts during the day. A typical roost contains about 50 bats and may be found in any sheltered place, such as inside hollow trees, caves, buildings, under roof tiles, inside attics, or behind boarding.

Are bats attracted to artificial lighting?

As nocturnal creatures, bats are probably strongly affected by artificial lights and most species of bats will avoid them.

Keep in mind!

If you want to discourage bats in your backyard, setting up strong lights may help to do so.

However, some species of bats are seemingly undisturbed by artificial lights and will congregate nearby to snatch up the insects they attract.

Conclusion

Bats are nocturnal creatures, and most are only active at night. Bats usually emerge after dusk to hunt, look for water, and mate, returning to their roosts before sunrise. They sleep and stay cool in sheltered spots (such as inside hollow trees, caves, and attics) during the day, so you are very unlikely to see bats in the daytime.

Daytime bat activity is considered unusual behavior in most places, and could be a sign of sickness. Contact your local wildlife service if you have concerns about a bat on your property.

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