Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in North Carolina
The Mexican free-tailed bat is most known for its large colony numbers: some roosts are known to contain millions of bats! Free-tailed bats are named as such for their tails, which extend more than a third of the way beyond the tail membranes. They are known as extremely fast flyers–in fact, it has been claimed that they have the fastest horizontal speed of an animal. Their large ears aid in finding prey using echolocation.
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat Habitat
Mexican free-tailed bats are usually found in the southern half of the U.S. and are known to hibernate south for the winter. They prefer to roost in caves but are infamous for taking up residence in buildings of any type if there are dark recesses in ceilings or walls. Some bats prefer man-made buildings and they ideally congregate near water, which provides them with the types of insects they prefer.
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat Behaviors, Threats or Dangers
These bats tend to catch their prey (insects) in flight. They begin to feed after dusk and fly at the highest altitudes of all bats. Like other types of bats, they use echolocation for navigation and to locate their prey. The biggest threat of these bats is the sheer number in which they roost. If they choose to roost inside buildings, their presence can be very dangerous for any people nearby. Like other bats, it’s important to never approach or attempt to handle one on your own. If you notice a bat has made its way into your building, never approach it or attempt to handle it yourself. Always call a professional wildlife control company.