Over the weekend we had some excitement with a native critter. For the third time since we moved into this house we got a bat trapped in the house. I have NO idea how they get in but they do. They live somewhere nearby…my attic crawl space maybe, LOL, because most warm evenings we see them swarm the pond nearby and then go hunting over the crop fields that are behind our street. They are lovely to watch but I don’t like them swarming around my head when I have laundry to do so out they must go when they get in the house. Hubs has been able to catch and release them all so far and that is very important to us because bats are very important to the environment.
If you have bats nearby then this is a sign that the area is in good environmental health without too much pollution. Bats are very sensitive to pollution and pesticides. When the bats go you have a big warning sign at hand.
Bats also love to eat mosquitoes and with all the concern about mosquito born illness like the West Nile Virus this is more important than ever. Spraying areas to kill mosquitoes will also likely drive away or kill their natural predators…bats. Not a smart thing to do. I wonder why cities aren’t looking into bat release programs and cultivating bat houses instead of spraying noxious gas on our neighborhoods. Bats can eat up to 1000 of those blood sucking buggers an hour. They may not do it because of all the fear about rabies but only a teeny 0.5% of bats ever get rabies. In MOST cases (sans an epidemic) bats are considered completely harmless. You are more likely to get rabies from a raccoon than from a bat. Bats are also very mild animals…they don’t like to be around people anyway.
Bats also eat tons of other bugs and I know my local farmers should be grateful because they canvas those crop fields all spring and summer looking for bugs. If you DO get one in the house or where it is in close proximity to people you will want to remove them and keep kids away (just in case). A bat box would be a great relocation place.
So what do you think? Why is it so hard to break away from the evil blooding suck, rabid bat stereotype? :)