I can answer this question: are there bats in Northern Virginia?
The answer is -- of course!
Our house is next to a pond. During warmer weather we can sit on our deck near dusk and watch the bats, in large numbers, dart about enjoying the local mosquito feast.
And, as we sit, we are not bothered by mosquitoes!
About 20% of the mammals in the world are bats! That's a lot of bats!
They have to live somewhere. Where do they live?
Looking at the ledge on this condo balcony I could see evidence of bats.
It had rained recently and there was a lot of wind.
But still, some evidence remained!
One lone, little indicator.
Looking up I could see where they lived!
Shining my flashlight into the opening I could see directly up and into the attic space of the dormer above.
That is quite the nice spot for bats to live! Lots of bats!
They only need a 1/4" slot to get in! And this was a large enough space!
Fun bat notes:
- They come from the order Chiroptera.
- There are Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera.
- The small bats you usually see are Microchiroptera, or insect eaters.
- Microbats use echolocation (a sort of radar) to locate food, lack the single claw at the edge of their wings and do not have fur.
- There are between 40 and 50 species of bats in the United States, and they populate all 50 states.
- They can live everywhere from trees, to caves, to crevices, to your house!
- Microbat wings are much thinner than birds, allow them to navigate more quickly and sharply, and made of a membrane that can tear easily. The wings also quickly repair themselves.
- The wings have cells, similar to fingerprints, which each have a small hair which enables the bat to sensitively feel the air during flight to help with its flight accuracy and speed during echolocation.
While bats don't do damage to your house, like eating wood or chewing electric wires, they do poop and pee. That in and of itself is reason enough not to want them living in your house. Nearby is great, but the guano does carry diseases and it's best for them to live somewhere else!
My recommendation: when you do see bat evidence at your house, look to see where they might be residing. If you think it's inside your house, locate their point(s) of entrance and seal it up! But having bat houses nearby to attract them will help you feel more comfortable as they are a wonderfully natural mosquito control! Attracting bats to live nearby your house is a Best Practice!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560