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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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April 8, 2024

Photos available  Suggested Tweet: Bat maternity season starts April 16! Got #bats roosting in buildings?
April 15 is the last day to legally exclude bats from your home without a permit: https://content.govdelivery.
com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/3950f7f @MyFWC #Florida #Conservation bats hanging upside down
Bat maternity season starts April 16

Florida’s 13 bat species typically roost in trees, caves or other natural spaces, but are sometimes
attracted to human-made structures, including buildings undergoing construction. If you have
bats roosting in buildings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is
sharing the reminder that April 15 is the last day to legally exclude bats from buildings without
a permit.

Florida’s 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 and lasts until Aug. 14 each year. During bat maternity
season, it is illegal to block bats from their roosts; this prevents flightless young from being trapped
inside structures, which isn’t good for people or bats.

If you have bats roosting in your house or building, 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 minimum of four
nights and the exclusion must be conducted when the overnight temperature is forecast 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
-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

Brazilian free-tailed bat closeup of head bat house on pole

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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