Brown Bats


  • Colour Light tan, reddish, or dark brown
  • Size From 9 cm to 12 cm long
  • Description Wingspan is from 25 to 37 cm
  • Notes Weighs 7 to 23 grams

How to identify Brown Bats

There are two prevalent bat species in Canada: the little brown bat and the big brown bat. As the only mammals capable of flight, bats are often compared to mice with wings. Their reputation is largely undeserved because they perform a beneficial environmental function by clearing the night skies of excess insects, including mosquitoes.

The little brown bat is about 9 centimeters long, weighs 7 to 9 grams, and has a wingspan of approximately 25 centimeters. Their colouring is light tan to reddish or dark brown, with a slightly paler underside and dark brown to black ears and wings. Big brown bats are typically dark brown on their backs, paler on their stomachs, and have an oily sheen to their fur. Their face, ears, wings, and tail are black and leathery. They average 12 centimeters in length, have a 37-centimeter wingspan, and weigh about 23 grams.

Signs of an infestation

People with bats living in their attics usually notice the noise first. Their vocalising can sound like squeaks or screeches, and they scratch or flutter while moving around. Other times, it’s the musty smell
as droppings pile up. To tell if bats are roosting in a building, watch the outside before dusk. Bats are active at night and will fly out of the building for their nightly hunting.

Brown Bats removal

While products like bat netting can be helpful, it’s important to keep in mind that even if do-it-yourself remedies work, there will still be a mess to clean up. The dust that is stirred up when cleaning bat droppings can carry harmful pathogens and can cause diseases. Therefore, we recommend contacting the experts at Orkin Canada for professional removal of brown bats.

How to prevent Brown Bats from invading

Bats do not need much space to gain access to homes. Prevention requires careful inspection of the roof and the walls. Any cracks or gaps need to be patched and vents and exhaust pipes should be covered with fine mesh screens. To make attics less attractive, property owners can also install a designated bat house away from the residence.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle


Both of these bat species are found in diverse habitats, from dense forests to urban areas. Little brown bat populations have been in decline with the onset of white nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that afflicts the pests during hibernation. The big brown bat is able to hibernate in a variety of temperatures and environments, making it the species most likely to be found in inside homes or buildings in the winter.


Bats primarily feed on insects, eating up to 600 per night. They are a natural control mechanism for mosquito populations, but also feed on midges, moths, beetles, and mayflies. Since many of these live near water, brown bats often roost there to be close to their food source.

Life Cycle / Reproduction

Mating for brown bats occurs in the fall or winter and gestation takes two months. Only one or two young are born at a time. Big brown bats have two litters per year, while little brown bats have just one. Females group together in maternity colonies to give birth, and return to the same colony year after year. Bats can live up to ten years in the wild, with some surviving as long as 30 years.

Commonly Asked Questions

How worried should I be about Brown Bats

When bats nest in homes and other structures, they become pests. The noises they make, the droppings they produce, and the diseases they may carry are all problematic. Rabies is one bat-borne ailment that gets a lot of attention. Although attacks on humans by rabid bats are rare, the consequences are so great that people should seek immediate medical attention after any physical contact with a bat. Additionally, bat droppings can be a cause of histoplasmosis. Bats can also carry parasitic insects such as mites and bat bugs that can easily inhabit human dwellings and feed on humans.

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