Florida is home to thirteen species of bats that are either year round or seasonal residents. All thirteen species are insectivorous. Some form colonies and some roost alone. There are also seven species of bats that have, on occasion, been found in Florida but they do not normally live here. These are referred to as accidental species. Three are from more northern climates and also eat insects. Four are from more tropical regions and feed on nectar, pollen and fruit. The latter have only been found in south Florida and the Florida Keys.
List of Florida Bat Species
Old dead trees (Also known as "snags")
Evening bats, free-tailed bats and big brown bats like to roost in old dead trees. They hide behind loose bark, in cracks within the trunk or branches, or in holes carved out by birds or insects. These bats roost together in colonies ranging in size from just a few bats to a couple of hundred bats or more depending on the availability of space within the tree. In modern times they have adapted to man made structures such as buildings and bridges and often form very large colonies numbering in the thousands.
Seminole bats, yellow bats and pipistrelles often roost in Spanish moss. They do not usually roost in dead trees and do not move into man made structures. They also do not form colonies but usually roost singly. Mother bats, however, will stay with their young until they learn to fly and find insects for themselves. While they are raising their young they will be hanging onto her or roosting by her side. Years ago when Spanish moss was harvested for padding furniture it is likely that thousands of these bats were killed in the process.
Dead palm fronds
Although yellow bats will roost in Spanish moss, they also roost in old dead palm fronds. Their yellowish color blends in with the color of the fronds and makes them almost invisible. The dead palm fronds hanging down on the sides of sabal palms, also known as cabbage palms, serve as one of their favorite roost sites. It is almost impossible to find them since they hide so well and the color of their fur blends right in with the dead palm fronds.
Some Florida bats roost in caves. If you want to see bats in Florida caves, a good place to go is Florida Caverns State Park in north Florida. Florida bats do not hibernate in caves during the winter like the bats up north, but they will lower their body temperature and heart rate and go into what is referred to as torpor to save energy on cold or rainy nights. Unfortunately, bats in caves are very vulnerable to disturbance and vandalism. Experienced cavers will not disturb colonies of bats in caves and will not enter caves with maternity colonies during the summer months.
*Above Information has been taken from the Florida Bat Conservancy. For more information click on the link below!
To trap or exterminate any species of Bat is both irresponsible and unlawful. Tufts Wildlife Services takes great pride in respecting our environment and the laws created in order to protect it. Therefore, we only use passive removal techniques such as one-way valves and exclusion work. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has mandated that a bat colony can only be evicted between August 14th - April 16th due to maternity season (April 16 – August 14) when females are nurturing pups. During this time, Bat Exclusion work will only be done on "potential entry points" and not the active entry point being used by females to seek food and water.