Little brown bat on a rock in nature.
June 13, 2023 / Blog / by alphawild

15 Different Species of Bats Living in Tennessee

As a resident of Tennessee, you are familiar with the presence of bats. These flying mammals thrive in our state because of the climate and environment. Predominantly, they are magnificent creatures, helping us out more than we might comprehend. With a diet consisting of mosquitoes and moths, there are advantages to having bats around.

However, it’s no secret that bats can be pests, or even dangerous depending on the circumstances. They can enter your home and be problematic, both in terms of structural damage as well as health concerns. But all bats aren’t identical, and some are more detrimental than others.

To better understand what type of bat you are dealing with, it helps to familiarize yourself with the various species. In fact, there are about 15 common species of bats that frequent the Tennessee area. And while they contain too many attributes to individually identify all of them, here is a high-level breakdown.

Long eared bats groped in an attic.

Bat Species in Tennessee

Before we get into the particulars, here is a list of the common bat species in Tennessee:

  • Little Brown Bat
  • Southeastern Bat
  • Gray Bat
  • Northern Long-Eared Bat
  • Indiana Bat
  • Eastern Small Footed Bat
  • Silver Haired Bat
  • Tri-colored Bat
  • Big Brown Bat
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Seminole Bat
  • Hoary Bat
  • Evening Bat
  • Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat
  • Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat

It’s likely that some of these species are on your radar, and maybe have been for some time. The Little Brown Bat, for example, is the most common bat in the state. This species can be found just about everywhere since it isn’t regionally confined.

You can recognize the Little Brown Bat by its mouse-like ears. It is typically over three inches in length, and its wings consist entirely of naked skin. These creatures eat just about any small winged insect, which can be beneficial for local homeowners. 

However, the males tend to live in solitary or in small groups. And while they prefer caves or crevices, they will be satisfied to occupy the shingles of a home or business roof. Because they don’t spend time in large groups, they can remain in unwanted places for a significant length of time. 

The Little Brown Bat is often confused with the Southeastern Bat. This is mostly due to their mouse-like ears. However, don’t be misled by the name, as the Southeastern Bat more commonly populates West Tennessee. 

Primarily, this species tends to appreciate its time west of the Tennessee River. And overall, water plays a deciding factor in their location. While they are no strangers to hollow trees or manmade structures, they prefer a water source to be nearby.

On a more recognizable note, the Eastern Small Footed Bat has small feet that make it distinguishable. Unlike the Southeastern Bat, this species is true to its name. And not only are these the smallest bats in Middle Tennessee, but in the entire Eastern U.S.

This species primarily resides in East or Middle Tennessee. They hibernate in caves or mines, and unlike most bats, they keep their forearms extended while hanging. This feature is the most reliable way to identify them from other comparable species.

Unique Bats Present Unique Dangers

Just as bats differ by region and size, the damage they can do to your home differs as well. Each scenario is unique, which is why it’s crucial to exclude bats from your home in a professional manner. And this not only means quickly, but also efficiently.

Some indicators of bats being in your house could be chirping noises or feces. If these are occurrences you experience, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals. 

It’s important to note that bats are protected by the federal government. Therefore, they must be handled in a very specific way. Call Alpha Wildlife to handle removing bats effectively and permanently. We are a veteran-owned and operated business, and the name in the game when it comes to wildlife removal.
Let the certified professionals at Alpha Wildlife remove the bats from your home or place of business.

Contact us today!

Wildlife Removal Knoxville, TN