- Bats are not blind. In fact they have excellent eyesight. Since they do most of their flying by night they are also equipped with the amazing ability to emit sound waves that bounce off objects and ricochet back, transmitting precise information about everything around them from bugs to brick walls to gardeners! Furthermore, bats do not live to tangle themselves up in human hair. In fact there has never been a single such case reported. Ever. Sometimes bats fly close to humans but this is because it is attracted to the mosquitoes that are, in turn, attracted to the human.
- Bats do not carry the West Nile disease which means when they eat mosquitoes the disease is effectively stopped in its tracks.
- Bats are rarely rabid. Less than half of one percent of bats carry rabies so your chances of coming across a rabid bat are next to nil.
- Bats are the only mammals that fly
- Bats are can live up to 30 years in the wild
- Bats only give birth to one baby bat per year
- Bats are the main pollinator for agave; a cactus used to make tequila as well as a popular natural sweetener. Without their help pollination would drop to a miniscule 1/3000th of its usual productivity! Bats are also crucial to the pollination of bananas, cashews, mangoes, dates and figs. In the wild these same crops are dependent on bats for seed dispersal.
- In colder parts of North America bats are more important as pest control than pollinators. They devour an enormous amount of harmful insects including the June beetle whose larvae destroys corn and soybean crops and the coddling moth that infests fruit trees, providing farmers (and gardeners) with millions of dollars worth of free, organic pest control.
- Bat guano (poop)is a rich source of fertilizer that has been coveted by organic gardeners for centuries. Not only does it feed your plants it also detoxifies the soil. If you use bat guano in your garden inquire about the collecting practices of your supplier. Guano should be gathered during the summer months when bats have vacated the cave so they are not being disturbed during hibernation. Ask what practices are in place to prevent the spread of disease from one cave to another and if harvesting is being done with sustainability in mind. A single tablespoon of guano teems with hundreds of species of valuable bacteria that make up a vital part of a healthy cave ecosystem.
- Since being discovered in 2007 White-nose syndrome has killed an estimated 5.7 million bats in North America including bats from five Canadian provinces. Biologists are calling it “the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America.”
If you are interested in finding out more about bats visit Bat Conservation International
Want to build a bat house for these amazing creatures? Here’s a great book Bat House Builder’s Handbook that will help you do just that!