Bats are pretty awesome. Did you know that they’re the only mammals who can fly?!
Some people think that bats sneak into homes uninvited, but they never make their own entrances—they enter through existing openings. Hey, if the door is open, who wouldn’t try to make themselves at home? (Your family can learn more about patching holes here—and remember that poisons used to “control” bats can be fatal to all animals, humans included!)
Here are nine reasons why bats should be your favorite animal already:
1.Vampire bats are real, but they aren’t dangerous.
Only three out of the more than 1,000 bat species are vampire bats, and they’re nothing like what the scary stories would lead you to believe. They don’t attack humans, and they never kill their prey. ♥
2. The biggest bats are vegetarians.
Megabats, also known as fruit bats or “flying foxes,” are the largest kind of bats, and they’re vegetarians: They live off fruit and nectar. Yum!
3. Bats can help clear the air of mosquitoes, naturally!
4.Bats are prehistoric.
Primitive ancestors of modern-day bats have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, but scientists have even found fossils dating back more than 35 million years.
5. Bats have a connection to humans. Yes, us!
6. Farmers go bananas for bats.
Many bats are pollinators who help spread and plant seeds, making them essential to healthy ecosystems and for growing certain crops. You can thank bats the next time that you eat a banana, mango, or guava. See, we NEED bats!
7. Bats have excellent eyesight.
You may have heard the expression “blind as a bat,” but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Bats can see extremely well, and they have a wing up on humans at night, when they hunt for insects. They use extremely precise echolocation to figure out how far away insects are, their size, and the direction they’re heading. They’re so precise that they can avoid obstacles as small as a human hair.
8. Baby bats go to daycare. ♥
Newborn bats cling to their mothers while they fly, and some species raise their young together in large nurseries. Even if there are thousands of bats in a nursery, a mother can always find her baby when she returns. Some species of baby bats even “babble” like human babies.
9. Bats are harmless.
People used to worry that bats transmit rabies, but the incidence of rabies in bat populations is estimated to be less than 0.5 percent, and they avoid contact with humans. If you find a bat lying on the ground, he or she may be injured or sickor may have been grounded by a storm or pesticides. In these cases, a wildlife rehabilitator should be contacted for help.
If a bat gets inside your house, create an escape route by opening a window or door to the outside and check out our humane tips to evacuate the bat from your home. Your winged visitor will eagerly exit as soon as he or she has a chance. You can prevent bats from finding their way into your attic by sealing holes near the roof after any existing colony has left for winter hibernation.