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Houston Audubon Society
Bats

Did you know?

  • Bats are among the most gentle and beneficial of all mammals. In particular female bats are very caring mothers.
  • Insect-eating bats are essential predators of night-flying insects, including mosquitoes and beetles.
  • Fruit and nectar eating bats are among the most important seed-dispersers and pollinators of tropical rain forest trees and other plants. Such diverse plants as the saguaro cactus, agave, and fig tree depend on bats for their survival.
  • Bats are not a major source of rabies. Dogs, cats, raccoons and skunks are much more likely to have the disease. Fewer than one half of one percent of bats contract rabies. Less than a dozen people in the U.S. and Canada are believed to have died from rabies form bats in the past four decades. If a bat does get rabies, he does not become aggressive and dies quickly.
  • Bats are exceptionally clean and engage in frequent grooming.
  • Bats have excellent eyesight and use high frequency sounds to navigate. They do not become entangled in your hair.

Species Found in Houston

Tree Branch Roosters
Eastern Red Bat 4"-5", reddish brown. Roosts in foliage of deciduous trees.
Seminole Bat 4"-5", fur is rich mahogany brown. Likes to roost in Spanish moss.
Hoary Bat 4"-6", yellowish fur is heavily frosted. Largest local bat. Roosts in evergreens.
Northern Yellow Bat 4". Roosts in dead palm leaves and Spanish moss.
Cavity Roosters (tree crevices, hollows)
Big Brown Bat 4"-5", dark brown fur. Also roosts in attics and under house eaves.
Evening Bat 3"-4", reddish brown to dark brown fur. Most likely user of bat houses.
Eastern Pipistrelle 3"-3.5". Our smallest bat with reddish to light brown fur.
Uncommon Species
Silver-haired Bat 4", fur nearly black with silver tips. Solitary, slow flier.
Free-tailed Bat 4", brownish-grey. This is a subspecies of Austin's famous bat. Roosts under bridges and also uses bat houses.

Bat Houses

Bat houses have been in use in Europe for over 60 years. In the U.S. they are a fairly recent phenomenon. Success depends upon many factors, such as the species of bats in your area, style of house, location, and proximity to water. We recommend you check with Bat Conservation International for details. In addition to selling houses and house plans, they are in the midst of a research project on bat-housing and can offer you the best advice on what type of house to use. Providing suitable roosting habitat is the best way to encourage bats. Of particular importance is to let the lower dried palm fronds remain on palm trees. In addition, any kind of water feature such as a pond or swimming pool is also an excellent lure.

Online Resources