Eastern Small-Footed Bat of Maryland

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March 3, 2014
Categories: Bat Exclusion

Eastern Small Footed Bat

The Eastern Small-Footed Bat is found from Canada through the eastern U.S. It’s one of the smallest bats in this region—it measures just 36-95 mm in length. Its hind feet are very tiny and reach just around 7-8 mm; that’s also how the bat got its name.

Eastern Small-Footed Bats feed on small insects, including flies, beetles, moths, etc. These bats are hard to come by despite their wide range. You are most likely to encounter them in caves and mines during hibernation from November to April.

Physical Description

  • Adult total length: 2 ¾” – 3 ¾”
  • Tail: 1” – 1 ¾”
  • Hind foot: ¼” – 3/8”
  • Weight: 1/7 – 1/4 oz.
  • Wingspan:  8.3” – 9.2”

The Eastern Small-Footed Bat has tiny ears measuring under 0.6″. Its fur is soft and silky, with a yellowish tan to golden brown color. Its belly is gray, while its face, ears, and wings are black. Its distinguishing characteristics are its black face mask, and its tiny 0.3″ hind feet. The Eastern Small-Footed Bat has been recorded living up to the age of 12 years.

Habits and Habitat

Not much is known about the habitat preference of the Eastern Small-Footed Bat, however evidence suggests that it prefers hilly or mountainous areas. These bats are the last to enter hibernation in late fall and are the first to emerge from hibernation in the early spring. In the winter, they hibernate in abandoned mines and caves. In the summer they will roost in buildings and rock crevices. During hibernation they are found in the coldest parts of the mine or cave where the temperatures are below freezing.

Like all bats that reside in Maryland, mating occurs in autumn, and the sperm is stored within the female through the winter hibernation. The females become pregnant when they emerge from hibernation in the spring. Each female gives birth to one pup in late May to July. Males are solitary throughout the spring and summer however the females form nursery colonies that usually consist of about 20 females.

Range

The Eastern Small-Footed Bat ranges from The Northeastern United States and Canada down to the southeast and westward to Oklahoma. They prefer coniferous forests and are active in mountainous regions. In the spring and summer they roost in rock bluffs, under tree bark, in hollow trees, and in manmade structures such as attics, bridges and in turnpike tunnels. In late fall they are one of the last bats to enter into caves and abandoned mines to hibernate.  They hibernate individually or in small clusters of 25 to 30 bats usually hanging at the entrance of the cave or mine where the humidity is lower and temperatures drop below freezing.

Diet

The Eastern Small-Footed Bat feeds on flying insects such as beetles, mosquitoes, moths, flying ants and flies. They are capable of filling their stomach within one hour after they start to feed. They search for food in open fields along tree lines, below tree canopies, over and bodies of water, along cliffs and rock ledges. These bats emerge to feed just before the sun has fully set or at dusk.

If you have seen bats flying in and out of your rooftop give us a call or contact online to schedule an inspection. Our skilled Bat Control Technicians will conduct a thorough inspection of your home to locate all entry points that bats are using to access your attic space. After the inspection is completed we will evict the bats in accordance with the laws and guidelines set by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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