When I was a kid one of my favorite books to read was about bats. The name of that book escapes me now but I can still remember that feeling of pure curiosity about the winged mammal and its habits. These days my conversations about bats to revolve on capture and removal but I still enjoy any opportunity I have to discuss about their habits.
Bats were given the name Chiroptera, meaning “hand-wing”, due to the fact that they are the only mammal who can actually fly. Wings of bats are supported by bones, found in their arms and fingers. The wing is made of a thin membrane that can extend all the way to their tails. It is a common misconception that bats are completely blind. The eyesight in some species is quite good in fact. Bats travel at night so their eyes have evolved to see in dim lighting. They also have a handy tool called Echolocation. Sound waves are used to detect objects and thus they are enabled to be very agile fliers even in the darkness of night.
They eat a variety of insects including beetles, mosquitoes, moths, and more. They can be located in a widespread of habitats including dry, upland pine forests, hardwood forests nearby the banks of rivers, and any place similar or between. It is certainly not uncommon to see them hanging out in your neighborhood either. Bats tend to roost in two different types of groups. The first is referred to as colonial, meaning more than one will stay together as a colony to rest. The second is known as solitary, it roosts alone. The natural roosting sites are in caves, cracks, or even hollows of trees.
Bats live the longest of small mammals. Some can live up to 30 tears in the proper environment. Mating season is in the fall and winter. Females will give birth to one bat, referred to as a pup, in the spring when the insect populations are high. For mammals they are rather slow at reproducing.
My first childhood experience with bats was a pleasant one however, that is not the case for the majority. As a common participant in horror stories and films humans are conditioned to fear rather than appreciate bats. They truly can be beneficial to society. You know all those pesky insects that tend to come around? Bats eat those. There is even one bat that can eat 3,000 insects each night. How’s that for spring cleaning?
It’s important to remember that bats are wild creatures. They belong in the wild if you see one don’t try and pick it up. If one does happen to get into the home it was most likely by accident. Simply open all exterior doors to allow it to fly out. Bats can bite so if it doesn’t make it outside make sure to put on heavy gloves before removing it yourself. If it does bite you, get medical attention immediately and have the bat checked for rabies.
Some bats may make homes in the eaves of your house or in your attic. If you see more than one bat in your home you may need an bat removal service or exclusion. Professionals can be hired to complete bat removal services for you.
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