Bats have been one of the misunderstood animals in our planet because of their appearance and behaviour. For centuries, bats have been perceived associated with vampires and other dark myths. Before you see a bat and run away in fear of being bitten (since people almost always think all bats are after human blood), let us share with you their actual role in the environment.
Although it is a common assumption that bats are dangerous and dark animals, they actually keep the ecosystem in balance. They play vital roles in pollination, insect control and plant dispersal.
About seventy percent of the bat population is composed of insectivorous bats. They feed on insects and consume millions of pests every year. They serve as nature’s pesticides minus the harmful effects of chemical ones. Farmers appreciate bats for this role very much, since they keep the crops healthy and insect-free. Bats help farmers save of up to a billion dollars depending on the usual damage of crop eating pests like worms. They not only save the crops, but also minimize the need for chemical pesticides farmers use to keep their vegetations healthy and alive.
In some places where diseases are brought by insects such as mosquitoes, a bat is the easiest solution to getting rid of them. Nursing bats can consume insects at an amount equal to their body weight each night. This helps immensely in insect control and human health, since they eliminate disease carrying insects every time they forage at night.
In Canada, these are the some of the distinctive species preying on insects: the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), which is known to be the largest bat in the country, and the Eastern Pipistrelle or tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), one of the smallest Canadian bats.
Other than their role as insectivores, bats are also very good pollinators. There are nectar-feeding bats that help in the distribution of pollen from one flower to another and this plays an important role in propagating a locality’s flora.
Aside from insectivorous and nectar-feeding bats, there are also fruit-eating bats. Fruit-eating bats can grow very large and travel miles as they search for their fruit. As they are eating or are foraging, they drop seeds from the fruit they consume, and therefore help in seed dispersal. Because of this, bats are also known as tropical farmers and help in maintaining the number of plants in our forests.
Bats play a very important role in the balance of our ecosystem. The next time you see a bat, think of the real good things they do and appreciate them as animals. Without bats, the world would be a more uncomfortable place.
When these creatures sometimes end up living inside your attic, don’t fret! It is important to immediately call animal control services like Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. Skedaddle Wildlife Technicians are trained experts for bat removal. Their methods have been proven to be effective and humane. With more than twenty-six years of handling wildlife infestation in Canadian homes, you can be rest assured that your house remains bat-free while at the same time, helping bring these creatures back to the wild where they can play their role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem.