What is a roost?

The place a bat lives is called its roost. Bats need different roosting conditions at different times of the year and they will often move around to find a roost that meets their needs. Some bats prefer hollow trees, some like caves and some use both at different times. Many bats shelter in buildings, behind hanging tiles and boarding or in roof spaces.

For several weeks in summer, female bats gather in a maternity roost to have their babies. In winter, bats use hibernation roosts. Bats have been discovered roosting in all sorts of places, but there are three broad roost types that are the most common: roosts in trees, roosts in built structures and roosts in underground sites. Bats may also roost in bat boxes.

  • UK bats do not construct roosts, but use structures that are already available.
  • Bats are not rodents and they don’t nibble on wood, wires and other bits and pieces in buildings.
Next: Maternity roosts