Prepare your home and buildings before bats take up residence

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds the public that Delaware is home to nine species of bats, all of which have begun or will soon begin their annual move from winter sites to their summer maternity colonies.

Female bats return to colonies pregnant and congregate to give birth and raise their pups. In Delaware, these colonies can often take up residence in homes, garages, attics, and barns.

Even though bats play an important role in our ecosystem to include controlling insects, sometimes they can be unwanted visitors to homes and outbuildings. If you or someone you know previously had bats roosting in an undesirable location, a bat exclusion barrier to prevent bats from entering the building may be warranted.

It is crucial that bat exclusions be completed by May 15 before female bats start giving birth, to prevent trapping flightless young bats inside the building and permanently separating the female from their pups, which cannot survive on their own.

More information can be found on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s webpage, including a list of permitted Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators, who can install bat exclusions, and recommended “Best Management Practices” for excluding bats as listed on the Bat Program Page under “Bats in Buildings.” For more information, call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-735-3600.