While some fear bats or would even consider them as pests, the reality is, most people who hate them don’t even know anything about these beautiful creatures! They aren’t really so bad. Before calling the pest control services to eradicate these night crusaders, let us get to know more about these winged creatures.
Contrary to popular belief, there are bats active during the day.
Contrary to their names, flying squirrels do not really fly. Instead, they just glide making bats the only mammal capable of continued flight.
There are more than 1000 different kinds of bat species, and there are only three known species of vampire bats: the hairy-legged vampire bat, the white-winged vampire bat, and the common vampire bat. The first two species of vampire bats prey on birds while the last specie evolved to drinking blood. Most species of bats actually feed on fruits or insects.
Also, vampire bat can only drink one tablespoon of blood each night.
The common vampire bat feeds on blood from cattle, horses, other livestock, and humans. More often than not, the prey won’t even feel this bat’s bite because its saliva contains an anaesthetic which numbs the area. Despite its bite not being fatal, the common vampire bat has rabies, making it possibly dangerous.
Sure some bats may have poor eyesight, but generally speaking, bats are not blind. Their eyes are extremely sensitive to the change of light, which is another reason why they hunt for food at night. You might be asking what use their eyes have. Well, they still use them to avoid large objects, gauge their height above the ground, and navigating across landscapes via prominent landmarks.
Some bats, like the Old World fruit bat, rely greatly on their sight to get their food since they are active during daytime.
Bats use a special sense called echolocation to see in the dark. Aside from knowing the distance of various objects by how quickly the sound waves they produced bounce back, they also use echolocation in catching their prey. Echolocation is also used (together with their great sense of smell) in identifying the location of their babies from a group of identical babies in pitch-black locations.
Known as guano, bat dung is often used as fertilizer since it is rich in nutrients needed by plants to grow. But beware; guano must only be applied in small quantities since it is composed of 10% nitrogen, responsible for fast, green growth, 3% phosphorus for aiding with root and flower development, and 1% potassium for the plant’s overall health.
History trivia: Because dried guano consists of saltpaper (potassium nitrate), bat caves were essential resources of materials for gunpowder and explosives. This was American soldiers’ practice up until World War I.
Aside from the fact that bats can only have one pup each year, another reason for the decreasing number of bats is because of its loss of natural habitats. Aside from a place to live and reproduce, their natural food sources also become scarcer.
While bats aren’t exactly the little devils of the night that they are portrayed to be or seen as, you still wouldn’t want one in your home. If you find an uninvited guest in your house, don’t try to get rid of them on your own. You might hurt yourself or the bat! Your best bet would be to pest control to get the bat out for you: both for your and the bat’s sake!