Yuma Myotis is a small bat with a wide range of habitats in North, Central, and South America. While this bat tends to stay away from humans, its roosts are occasionally built dangerously close to them. If seeking to control this unique creature, be sure to employ methods that are sensitive to the species, but also eliminate any threat of disease to your home.
What does a Yuma Myotis bat look like?
Although its name sounds like a disease, the Yuma Myotis is indeed a bat.
The Yuma Myotis is a small bat, on average about 3 inches long weighing a quarter of an ounce. Similar in appearance, it is often mistaken for the Little Brown bat. Its upper fur and ears are pale brown, cream buff, or even cinnamon colored. The tail membrane of the Yuma Myotis has hair that extends beyond the knees. Its skull is more protuberant than other bat species.
Where does the Yuma Myotis live, and what does it eat?
The Yuma Myotis is found in British Columbia, Canada, Mexico, and the Western U.S. Their preferred habitat is open forests and woodlands. This bat will most likely be found roosting near water sources like ponds, streams, and lakes where the insect population is robust. The Yuma Myotis prefers warm temperatures and hibernates during the winter.
The favorite daytime, nighttime, and maternity roosts of the Yuma Myotis are in old buildings, attics or dark recesses of ceilings and walls, under bridges, crevices of cliffs, in caves and mines, or in hollowed out trees. It will leave its roost during the night in search of prey.
Although small moths and other soft-bodied insects are thought to be the primary source of food for the Yuma Myotis, it feeds on all types of insects. Aquatic insects like mosquitoes, stoneflies, dragonflies, and mayflies are other favorites. Ground beetles and dipterans are other food sources. Like other bats, the Yuma Myotis uses echolocation to find its prey, then consumes it. The Yuma Myotis often flies over streams, foraging for flying insects.
The Yuma Myotis’s Circle of Life
Mating takes place in the fall for the Yuma Myotis with fertilization in the spring. After fertilization, mother bats form maternity or nursery roosts which are common in domes of mines and caves where humidity is high. This is where the mother bat will care for her pup. Males are usually absent from these roosts and remain solitary during the upbringing of their young. Pups (the baby bats) are born in the summer, one pup at a time, from May to July. Baby bats are fully weaned and independent within two months and maternity colonies disperse by the end of September.
Yuma Myotis and Humans
Although bats have a creepy-looking appearance and occasionally swoop down a little too close, most bat species are not hostile to humans, and prefer to stay away from them. If roosts are built in or around manmade structures they can become a pest, but they are also great predators of certain pests. The Yuma Myotis can consume up to half its weight in moths in a single night. So if you’re tired of moths flying into your face during your nighttime barbeque, consider a bat house. But then you might have the bats flying in your face instead. Pick your poison.
While some species of bats are known to be carriers of rabies, it is not common that rabies is transmitted from bats to humans. Handling of bats should nevertheless be done with extreme caution, and preferably by a professional.
Professional Yuma Myotis Control
Professional control of the Yuma Myotis is done using a combination of observation, sealing, and exclusion. Control of the bat can only be accomplished when the bat’s young are weaned from their mother.
Observation of the house: Observation must be done to identify all entrances for the bat. A professional will be on the lookout for all points of entry for the bat.
Seal up any entrances once they have been identified. A professional will always leave one entrance or exit point so a bat valve can be installed.
Removal of the Roost! Exclusion can be employed only after entrance points are located and sealed, and when nursery roosts have dismantled. A professional pest control operator will most likely use a bat valve or other one-way trap to keep the bats out.
Cleanup: A bat roost will always leave a sanitation/cleanliness problem. Most bat removal companies will do the cleanup job for you as part of their service. Never leave bat guano or urine as it may carry harmful bacteria.
Repellent will keep bats away from entrance points in a humane manner. It isn’t poisonous, but will deter the bats from going in.
DIY and Green Solutions for Yuma Myotis Bat Control
Control of Yuma Myotis, as with any other bat, should be done only if bats are actually roosting in a structure. Bat numbers are important to garden and other ecosystems, and can actually be a natural form of pest control.
One-Way Ticket: Also used by professionals, a bat valve or cone is a one-way opening that is installed in the entry and exit points of a bat roost. This leaves an exit for the bat, but the valve is designed so that it cannot get back in. This should only be used after smaller alternate openings are identified and securely sealed. A bat valve or bat cone can be purchased at home improvement store and can be installed without professional help.
Seal up all entrances: this is something that can be done by anyone. The most popular way of sealing off entrances for bats is to use bird netting for large crevices or cracks through which the bats are entering. Urethane foam can be used for smaller entry points.