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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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March 15, 2024

Photos available  Suggested Tweet: Bat maternity season starts soon! April 15 is the last day to legally
exclude #bats from your home:
@MyFWC #Florida #Conservation
montage of bats
Bat maternity season coming up in April

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is sharing the reminder that bat
maternity season, the time when most of our state’s native and beneficial bats give birth and raise
their young, starts on April 16. Now is the time for property owners to check homes and other
buildings for roosting bats before bat maternity season begins.

Florida’s 13 bat species typically roost in trees, caves or other natural spaces, but are sometimes
attracted to human-made structures. Buildings undergoing major construction can also provide
greater access to bats. During bat maternity season, it is illegal to block bats from their roosts to
prevent flightless young from being trapped inside structures, which isn’t good for people or bats.

The most effective and only legal method to remove roosting bats from structures is the use of
exclusion devices, which allow bats to safely exit a structure but block them from returning to
their roosts. It is only legal to use exclusion devices from Aug. 15 until April 15, outside of the
maternity season. Permits are required to use exclusion devices outside of those dates.

It is illegal in Florida to kill or harm bats, so exclusion guidelines were developed to ensure bats
are removed safely and effectively from buildings outside of maternity season. Bat exclusion is a
multi-step process that begins by identifying all potential bat entry and exit points in a building.
To legally exclude bats, exclusion devices must be installed on key exit points, left up for a mini-
mum of four nights and the exclusion must be conducted when the overnight temperature is fore-
cast to be 50ºF or above.

Bats are highly beneficial, both ecologically and economically. Florida’s bats are insectivores, with
a single bat eating up to hundreds of insects a night, including mosquitoes and other garden and
agricultural pests. Worldwide, bats serve critical functions due to their roles in insect pest control,
and as pollinators and seed dispersers, and their guano can be a valuable fertilizer.

Florida’s native bat populations include endangered species including the Florida bonneted bat. Want
to help our bats? There are several ways that Florida residents and visitors can support bat conservation:

-Preserve natural roost sites, including trees with cavities or peeling bark.
-Leave dead fronds on palm trees to provide roosting spots for bats.
-Install a bat house on your property.
-Report unusual bat behavior, as well as sick or dead bats:

For more information about how to properly exclude bats as well as other tips to bat-proof your home,
visit and click “Bats in Buildings.”  If you have questions or need more assistance,
contact your closest FWC Regional Office to speak with a wildlife assistance biologist. Learn more
about bats in Florida and ways you can help them thrive by visiting

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Logo

QUESTIONS? Contact the FWC:
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission ·
620 S. Meridian Street ·
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 ·
(850) 488-4676 GovDelivery logo
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