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Bats, Natures Best Insecticide

and Least Understood Friend

A Brown Bat

People have always feared what they could not see. The Bat is a perfect example. Bats are Mother Natures way of controlling the insect population. For example, people believe that bats are blind and often become entangled in peoples hair. Neither is true. Bats have great eye sight and can see perfectly well during the day. Plus most bats weigh less than mice and their bodies are usually smaller than mice. Most species hunt for food at night and have developed a system of echolocation, similar to sonar used in submarines, but much more sophisticated. Bats use this echolocation system to locate their primary food source, insects. In fact bats are capable of locating and catching insects as small and difficult to track as a flying gnat on a moonless night. This same echo location system helps the bat to avoid the smallest of obstacles. As a matter of fact bats are the only major predator to fill the role nature has given them. Do mosquitos bother you during the warm weather? Well bats are natures only and best way of controlling the mosquito population. It has been estimated that a single colony of bats consumes more than 250,000 pounds of insects nightly. In fact bats consume more than half their own body weight nightly. During the cooler months bats hibernate. Bats prefer natural places to hibernate, such as caves. However as we continue to encroach on their natural habitats and cut down trees and fill in wetlands we are bound to encounter bats taking up residence in our homes, garages, storage buildings, commercial buildings and barns. In fact we have a small colony of bats that live in our attic. In the three years we have lived here only one bat became lost, wondering into our living area. It did not fly into anyones hair. In fact it flew around in circles looking for a way out. I opened the front door and the bat flew straight through it, literally making a straight line for the open area, coming within inches of me. I just stood there very still and let the bat fly by. It was not necessary to kill it or capture it. By sharing our home with this small colony of bats we have a relatively insect free backyard. More information about bats can be obtained from:

There are many other resources, too numerous to list. Visit your local public library for additional resource information on bats and remember Bats Are Our Friends.

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