Pest Guides

Pipistrelle Bat

Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Appearance

Bats
  • 35 to 45 mm in length. 3 – 9g in weight.
  • Forearm length between 30 and 35mm with a wingspan from 200 to 250mm.
  • Mid to dark brown fur.
  • Pipistrelle bats have tiny bodies with short hind legs and short, wide ears.
  • Pipistrelle bats are the most common species found in the UK and are also found across Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Lifecycle

  • Bat’s mate in Autumn, just before hibernation, but the females egg cells are not fertilised until the spring. (Known as delayed implantation).
  • Once the embryo starts to grow gestation is between 6 and 7 weeks with usually just one baby being born in the summer.
  • Baby bats are tiny, blind for about a week and hairless. They rely on warmth for growth and development.
  • The young bat lives on its mother’s back – and is feed solely on her milk – until it can fly and hunt for itself; usually between three and six weeks.
  • Bats can live for up to 16 years.

Habits

  • Bats are the only mammals in the world capable of natural flight.
  • Bats live together in colonies. During the summer these are typically in trees, buildings that are accessible through gaps – they only require a space of 13mm to gain access through - or the eaves or rock crevices.
  • Pipistrelle bats hibernate in the winter; they gradually stop feeding and find themselves a suitable spot to hibernate – usually in crevices in buildings and trees.
  • Bats feed off lacewings, small moths, mosquitoes and midges and search for these over water, woodland, marshes and even urban areas.
  • Bats usually emerge from their roost shortly after sunset and spend the night foraging for food.
  • Bats do not damage to buildings that they roost in – other than the mess their droppings cause.
  • Bats are not aggressive, although like any wild animal, they may bite to defend themselves if handled.
  • It is important to note that in some countries Bats and their roosts are protected by law and it is an offence to damage, destroy or block access to their roosts.