Bats can be found in nearly every habitat of West Virginia with 14 species documented living within West Virginia.
Most of these 14 bat species are present in West Virginia year round with 11 of them being observed hibernating within West Virginia caves. The little brown bat is the most abundant bat species being observed hibernating in West Virginia caves. This bat is also the most common bat seen in homes, attics, churches, warehouses and abandoned buildings. Other bats such as the Hoary Bat, the states largest bat often times roost in trees and migrate south before winter.
There are seven bat species of West Virginia that are condsidered cave dwelling bats. These are the Eastern pipostrelle, Big brown bat, Indiana bat, Little brown bat, Northern long eared bat, Small footed bat, and the Virginia big-eared bat. Maternal colonies may range from 100 to upwards of 1300 bats. Distubances of bats while hibernating have lead to a decline of these species, which is one suspected reason the Indiana bat is now on the Federal endangered species list. Human disturbances of cave roost has played a major reason for declining bat populations in West Virginina.
Bats are one of West Virginia's most environmentaly benfeficial mammals. They primarily feed on insects and can ingest up to 1,000 mosquitoes or pests an hour. This is what makes them an essential part of the environment. Some of the more common pest they feed on include moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes and midges. Since the early 80's West Virignia Department of Natural Resources has put forth measures to reverse the delcline of bat populations by reducing disturbances and installing bat gates and fences to limit access to these known bat roosting caves.
Over the last couple of decades conservation efforts have been enacted to help regain a healthy bat population. Every measure must be taken when dealing with bats to protect their safety as well as the homeowner. Animal Control Solutions only provides humane bat removal services in order to protect our West Virginia's bat population.