Known as the only mammal that can fly, bats are creatures scattered abundantly all over the world. These winged animals belong to the Order Chiroptera derived from the Greek word, which roughly translates to “winged hands.” Their wings are made of thin skin that is stretched between their elongated finger bones and also connects to their legs.
More than this distinctive feature, there are many amusing things to know about bats. Here’s our awesome list:
- The world’s smallest mammal (in terms of length) is a bat. The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat or otherwise known as the bumblebee bat with the scientific name Craseonycteris thonglongyai is an endangered specie that has been inhabiting Thailand and some parts of Burma. The bumblebee bat measures around 1 to 1.3 inches in length, quite similar to the size of a bumblebee. Another small bat specie can be found in Eastern Americas and Canada – the Eastern Pipistrelle or more recently called as the tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus). The Eastern Pipistrelle can grow up to only 3.5 inches.
- Bat population is second largest in Class Mammalia, next to rodents. Because of this, they occupy all parts of the world except Antarctica. It is therefore not strange to see bats lurking around your area once in awhile. In Canada, the most common bat that people encounter is the little brown bat and the big brown bat. They can be found roosting on trees in the morning and hunting for insects at night.
- Baby bats get milk from their mothers. Like other mammals, young bats nurse from their mothers. However, these pups or baby bats can fend for themselves after approximately two months.
- Contrary to popular belief, not all bats are bloodsuckers. Out of more than 1,000 species of bats, only three consume blood as their diet.
- Bat feces or guano is used as a fertilizer. These droppings contain high levels of phosphate, potassium and nitrogen. These are essential for growing plants and many farmers have benefited from these excretes.
- Almost 70% of bats help the ecosystem by feeding on insects. Bats consume an amazing amount of insects in a year – millions, in fact. This characteristic helps farmers keep their crops healthy and pest-free. Canada’s most common little brown bat, for example, feeds on a wide range of diet consisting of wasps, mosquitoes, moths, gnats and beetles, among others.
- In general, female bats produce only one offspring at a time. And no, these pups do not come from eggs. As mentioned previously, bats are mammals, like humans so they give birth to live young bats called pups. Occasionally, a mother bat can also give birth to multiples such as twins.
- Most bats use echolocation to find their food and to find their way about but most bats have good vision. Bats are further divided into two suborders – microchiropterans and megachiropterans. Microchiropterans use echolocation by emitting very high-pitched sounds telling them of obstacles along the way. Megachiropterans on the other hand, have larger eyes which they use to search for food and to roam around.
- It is illegal to kill bats and bat colonies. Because of their role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, bats are protected species.
- Bats occasionally find their way into human homes because we have also invaded their natural habitat. Bats used to live in caves but because of modernization and urbanization, we have encroached in territories that were once unperturbed. Your attic can serve as a good alternative for roosting and this is where they come in conflict with humans.
Because of the important role that bats play, it is important that we help in their conservation. Without bats, we will be infested by millions and millions of insects that can damage crops and affect our food supply.
If you are in the Mississauga area and are encountering bat problems, the best way to go for animal control is to leave it to the hands of wildlife professionals who know best how to handle their removal in the most effective yet humane method. Do-it-yourself methods may not always work and you expose yourself to a long list of potential health risk. There are several steps to remove bats from your home and without the technical knowledge, you may not be able to find the bat entry points on your own.
Call Skedaddle Mississauga and let their Wildlife Technicians discuss in detail the process of removing these critters from your home and consequently, bat exclusion.
Sealing your home from these nocturnal creatures through bat exclusion is the most humane way to go. You are not only keeping your family safe from health risk by keeping them out of your house, you also allow them to continue to perform their role in maintaining the balance of our environment.