It’s Halloween time, and decorations of spiders, witches, and “all things scary ” have begun to appear on store shelves everywhere.
Unfortunately the bat gets included in this list—poor thing has quite the reputation! This unusual flying mammal is feared for either its “blood-sucking” habits or “carrier of rabies” status.
However, it’s easily forgotten that bats are one of our best pest police. Each night they take to the sky to feast on mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Move over, batman….bats are the true heroes!
We like the way Kathleen Smith, a Wildlife and Fisheries level three biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) puts it: “People don’t realize that bats play a pretty critical role in insect control.They control a major part of the pest population; that’s billions of dollars that the agriculture industry would otherwise have to spend on pesticides.”
Billions of dollars on pesticides? And pesticides that are probably not environmentally-friendly to boot!
Wow! Are you starting to think differently about bats now? Florida has 13 different species of this flying pest control, including:
- The Evening Bat
- The Northern Yellow Bat
- The Mexican (sometimes also called the Brazilian)
- The Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat
- The Velvety Free-Tailed Bat
- The Seminole Bat
- The Tricolored Bat
- The Florida Bonneted Bat
- Northern Yellow Bat
- Hoary Bat
- Big Brown Bat
- Rafinesque’s Big-Eared bat
- Bray Yyotis Bat
And please remember this: whatever type of bat you might stumble upon one evening, rest assured it has no interest in sucking your blood; vampire bats are only found in Central and South America! And….only 1 percent of bats carry rabies!
If you suspect you have bats in your home or building, give us a call. We would be happy to help you. We do not kill them! We safely relocate them. And for the record, April 15 – August 15 is their mating season and NO bat exclusion work should be done during that time, unless there is harm to individuals or the structure by their presence.
So if you happen to see a bat decoration this Halloween season, let it serve as reminder of their usefulness to the environment…there’s nothing to be afraid of!