Baystate Wildlife | Bat Traits
Baystate Wildlife’s Five Reasons Why We Should Be Thankful for Bats
Bats tend to have a bad reputation because of their dark color, beady eyes, and fang-like canine teeth. Baystate Wildlife often thinks they are often portrayed as dark mythical creatures associated with evil spirits and vampires. In truth, these flying mammals are usually quite harmless. That’s why over at Baystate Wildlife have taken it upon ourselves to clear their name by illustrating some of their more endearing and useful traits. Image Source: Sharesloth
- Most Bats won’t bother you – Aside from the fact that they usually only come out at night, bats are like most small wild critters in that they normally try to avoid humans. Even the infamous vampire bat, which drinks fresh blood from its host, prefers to feed on cows, horses, and other livestock while they sleep. The cows don’t even usually wake up when they’re being fed on, but if they do, bats are quick to fly away.
- Bats eat plenty of annoying bugs and pests – Did you know that bats can eat about 500 mosquitoes an hour? Imagine what an entire colony of them can do. Apart from eating the mosquitoes that feed on your blood and spread diseases, they eat the moths whose larvae eat your curtains and clothes; they also eat ants, centipedes, scorpions, crickets, and flies. This makes them excellent for keeping pests away from certain crops.
- They pollinate fruit crops – Mangoes, bananas, dates, figs, and agave (the plant that tequila is made of), along with about 300 other fruit crops, all depend on bats for pollination. As you’re beginning to see, bats are extremely helpful within the ecosystems that they reside.
- Bats may eventually help prevent strokes and heart attacks – At least two kinds of unique proteins found in the saliva of vampire bats prevent blood from clotting when they feed on the blood of livestock. The protein Draculin is currently undergoing clinical trials for the prevention of blood clots in the arteries of the brain and heart, which lead to strokes and heart attacks respectively.
- Bats are actually kind of cute – when you see them up close, and in the daytime, you may find that the furry little winged critters have more in common with other mammals than you think. Their goofy over-sized ears and little furry faces can be quite endearing.
Despite their cuteness, always be cautious if you see bats in the wild. If they’re on the floor, then they’re probably injured and feeling defensive. Be sure to contact your local wildlife rescue, park ranger, or animal control agency immediately, like Baystate Wildlife.
We know how to safely and humanely deal with wild creatures like bats, raccoons, and skunks among others. We also know where to bring them for the best care or relocation.
There are close to 1,000 kinds of bats in the world, and even if they have a bad reputation, they can’t all be bad. For more information about bats and other critters, visit BaystateWildlife.com.