Why do bats roost in buildings?
Buildings often make better roosting spaces as they are more thermally stable, which is particularly important in the summer months when female bats need warm spaces to care for their young
Which types of bat roost?
There are 18 species of bat in the UK, but only a few are likely to roost in houses. Different species of bat prefer different places to roost (or shelter). The most abundant of the British bats are the Pipistrelles, of which there are three species in the UK. The Soprano Pipistrelle and the common Pipistrelle often roost in houses and are almost identical to the untrained eye. The Nathusius’ Pipistrelle is quite rare and found less often in houses.
Protection and the law
As their natural habitats have been lost, bats have adapted to roost in houses. Approximately 25% of the world’s bats are threatened with extinction. At least 12 bat species in the world, such as the Puerto Rican flower bat, have already become extinct. In the UK, bats face threats ranging from predation to crime and loss of habitat. In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.
This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you:
1. Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
2. Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
3. Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
4. Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
5. Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
Identifying signs of bats and bat droppings
Look for bat droppings on windows, walls or sills. In the roof void droppings may be below the gable ends or in a line under the ridge. Bats may be visible on ridge beams inside the roof void but could be tucked away from sight. During the summer months you can watch to see where the bats emerge from when they come out to feed around dusk time. Another clue is the chattering sound that bats may make at dusk just before they fly out to feed. Always take care when entering the roof void and do not shine lights up at the ridge. Stop immediately if you suspect any bats, so as not to disturb them.
What do bats look for in a home?
– Comfortable (protected from the weather)
– Aspect and orientation
– Clean, free of disease and parasites
– Access, size of roost space and structure
– Materials and structure
Bat access panels – easy access to bat roosts for routine cleaning and inspection
Access Panels Direct can manufacture access panels for bat conservation, bat roosts and roost cleaning. Our panels can be insulated with suitable thermal properties that reduce 24 hour fluctuations but allow maximum thermal gain for summer roosts. They enable easy surveying of bats, easier access for bat roost cleaning and allows you to create new bat roosts