These 2 types of bats are the most commonly deemed a nuisance as far as bats go in the New Orleans area, to include Covington, Mandeville, Hammond and Slidell on down to Houma and you can’t get that much further south on land than that!
While we have many other species, these two seem to cause the most trouble for homeowners and local businesses. The reason for that is that these two are colonists - they like to hang out in a crowd! Yes, we have bats in the French Quarter too! The little brown bats are not migratory like the free-tails though as the free-tails seem to almost disappear around here late in the year, but they both do migrate to some degree.
Some other local differences are that the little browns seem to be more able or ready to chew their way back in during a netting exclusion so we use tubes to evict them as often as possible. The free-tails were much more prominent around here 10 years ago, in fact we rarely saw little browns. My personal opinion is that since White Nose Syndrome took hold more little browns are moving south and staying south, but again, that is my personal opinion.
With so little study on the subject, we are left to guess and base our opinions on what we see. By the way, the pictures above were taken from the same jobsite and provided to me by my competitor and friend Dave Milliken. I use them here because they are excellent photos and clearly show the difference between the two species.
Little Brown bat
Other bats that they say we have are as follows:
Big Brown - Not really migratory, they like to hang out and party all year! This bat hibernates and flies less than 2 hours each night!
Evening Bat - He’s (or she’s) got a hairless snout with a short curved forward tragus…that's kind of like an ear part that sticks up in the ear area. Males can be solitary - but females will colonize in large numbers.
Northern Yellow Bat
Rafinesques Big Eared
Seminole - These guys are solitary and hang out in Spanish Moss. They are reddish-brown with frosted looking hair
Townsend Big Eared Bat - I have only heard of one guy who said he hand removed one from the Baton Rouge area. Normally found in the western US.
If your REALLY serious about learning about our local bats there are two websites that really deliver on the best information and no it isn’t wikipedia, in fact I think as far as bats go they are terrible and basically just copy and paste from the real information sources.
And the second one might be a bit tough to navigate so I put together this search for you which should result in bunch of information about bats, if it doesn’t you will have to dig but the amount of information is outstanding once you can get to it!