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    • A single little brown bat can catch 1,000 mosquitoes in just one hour. Bats living near farms reduce the need for pesticides by eating thousands of insects at night.

    • With their strong claws, bats are able to hang upside down in their roosts.

    • Some caves may be home to thousands of bats. The largest bat colony in the world is in Bracken Cave, Texas. During the summer, this cave is home to as many as 20 MILLION Mexican free-tailed bats.

    • A bat is the only mammal that can truly fly.

    • Like all mammals, all bats are covered with fur.

    • There are more than 40 species of bats in the U.S. and Canada; bats live in every region of North America.

    Forget the myths about bats being blind, getting in hair, and sucking human blood. In reality, bats are interesting and beneficial. The only mammal capable of true flight, they hunt at night by echolocation, using high-frequency sound to guide them. Bats also consume vast quantities of insects for sustenance. A single little brown bat can catch more than 1,000 mosquitoes in just one hour, while a colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from as many as 18 million rootworms each summer.

    Echolocation gives bats the ability to fly quickly while avoiding obstacles even in the dark. Bats send out sound waves using their mouth or nose. When the sound hits an object an echo comes back. The bat can identify an object by the sound of the echo. They can even tell the size, shape and texture of a tiny insect from its echo. 

    Bats are very interesting creatures. Bats may resemble rodents, but scientists believe they are more closely related to primates. They are mammals and the only mammals that fly. The world's smallest bat, the bumblebee bat, weighs less than a penny. One of the world's largest bats, Lyle's flying fox, has a wingspan of nearly six feet. The African heart-nosed bat can hear the footsteps of a beetle walking on sand from a distance of more than six feet. North America's common little brown bat has the world's longest lifespan for a mammal of its size, sometimes living more than 32 years.

    White Nose Syndrome is a serious threat to bat populations. The video below as produced by the USDA Forest Service.

    Battle For Bats: Surviving White Nose Syndrome from Ravenswood Media on Vimeo.

    There are more than 40 species of bats in the U.S. and Canada; bats live in every region of North America. Very rarely, bats have been suspected of transmitting rabies to people. However, scientists estimate that less than one-half of one percent of wild bats may have rabies. Sick bats generally do not become aggressive and do not bite without provocation, but any animal may bite in self-defense. If you have bats in your house, remain calm, keep pets and children away, and never try to handle a bat with bare hands.

    A simple device, called a checkvalve, lets bats exit the house but not return. For most openings, including openings on smooth exterior surfaces or through louvers, netting draped over an entrance—but open at the bottom—allows bats to crawl down and leave, but they will not be able to crawl back up under the netting. Securely attach plastic or other lightweight, flexible netting with 1/6 inch or smaller mesh (staples work well for this) above and on each side of the opening. Allow the netting to hang 1 ½ to 2 feet below the bottom of the opening.

    For buildings with rough exterior walls (such as brick or stone) and for holes at corners and in horizontal surfaces, another type of checkvalve works well. Tubes with lightweight plastic sleeves that collapse prevent bats from returning once they crawl out. Tape lightweight plastic securely around the end of a PVC pipe or flexible plastic tubing 2-inches in diameter and 10 inches long. The pipe or tubing end of the checkvalve can be squeezed into narrow crevices or cut into flaps that can be opened up and securely attached to the checkvalve with staples, nails, or strong tape.

    Evict only when no young bats are present; they raise their offspring from May through August. By about the first week of September, bats leave nursery colonies for winter hibernation sites. Bats occasionally hibernate in buildings during the winter. Early autumn, before cold weather sets in and after nursery colonies leave and before hibernation starts, is the best time to evict bats. If you find hibernating bats during the winter, postpone action until spring when the bats will be able to fend for themselves. Learn more with Wild Neighbors:

    The Humane Approach To Living with Wildlife, published by The Humane Society of the United States. You can purchase a copy HERE...

    Living with Bats

    Bats are fussy about where they live but you can offer them good homes, away from your attic and rafters.


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