terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

We love bats June 11, 2008

Filed under: conserve, environment, wind — terra @ 7:00 am

After a side discussion in Comments about bats, I’ve been searching the Bat Conservation International site for more information about how great bats are, how they help us, and how we can help them. Essentially, bats are pretty harmless to humans, but they eat a lot of bugs that make us sick, eat our food, or kill us (think West Nile Virus). So, bats are great! They eat what we want them to eat, and otherwise leave us alone.

Bat Trivia

Baby bats are called pups. Females have one pup per year – that’s a pretty low reproductive rate.
Bats live over 30 years, making them the longest living mammal for their size.
Bats and birds are not related.

Bat houses

One way to help bats is to build or put up a bat house to provide them shelter during the day so they can eat bugs at night. The best place to put a bat house is on a building or a pole, not on a tree.

Bat Benefits

In the United States, little brown bats often eat mosquitos and can catch up to 1,200 tiny insects in an hour. An average-sized colony of big brown bats can eat enough cucumber beetles to protect farmers from tens of millions of the beetle’s rootworm larva each summer. Large colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats eat hundreds of tons of moth pests weekly.


The biggest problem is human fear.

Another big problem for bats involves some of the things we do to the places where bats live. We spray a lot of chemicals, which are dangerous. Bugs are sprayed by the chemicals, and then the bats eat the chemical-coated bugs.

And, windmills are posing a problem for bats. As we strive to find renewable energy, we must remember to not harm other species in the process. (remember though, pollution from our gas-cars harm uncountable numbers of animals) The Bats and Wind Energy Consortium has joined together with energy innovators to find solutions. The Oregon Wind Turbine (below) is safe for birds and bats.

Recently, scientists have discovered White Nose Syndrome among bats in the North East. They don’t know the cause, but the mortality rate is 95%.

We should do what we can to help animals like bats. Without knowing, we depend on others for our survival, so it’s in our interest to keep them safe.


6 Responses to “We love bats”

  1. Jean from 'The Rogue Nation' Says:

    Terra ~ This is some awesome information on bats. I didn’t know not to put the house on a tree. Glad you mentioned that. I have a wonderful upper porch, would that be a good place. I love bats too! They are so cute, I’m sure many disagree but I think they are cute.

  2. terra Says:

    They’re especially cute now that I know that bat babies are called pups. :) I swear they have dog faces.

    A great book, “Island of the Sequined Love Nun” by Christopher Moore, featured a bat with a dog-face who wore sunglasses. He was always perched on some guys’ shoulder like a parrot.

  3. I should have NEW website up and running by next week. Until then you might take a peek at the current one and look under Mosquito Surveillance Maps and San Patricio Co. Tx. The pics to the left are where the mosquitoes were hatching!!

  4. ada Says:

    wow terra, what a great post!
    i’ve been a member of bat conservation international for around 15 years, now : )
    in addition to bats that eat bugs, there are also bats that eat fruit and others, still, that help pollinate.

    bci owns bracken cave and land surrounding it, near san antonio. this cave serves as home for millions and millions of bats – the largest community of mammals in the world.
    they allow visitors to bracken cave, almost exclusively bci members, although i have not yet taken advantage of this opporutnity.
    some day…some day…

    anyway, i was very pleased to read your entry :)

  5. terra Says:

    Thanks ada. I’m glad you reminded us of the fruit pollination that bats do. I forgot. They really do wonderful things, and they don’t fly into people’s hair – that’s an old wives tale.

    They’re such amazing animals, and I hope the scientists can figure out the white nose syndrome.

  6. Michele Says:

    This is a great article….Now I understand why the bat house with a pup baby add on landing pad has no bats in it. We put it in a tree.

    Speaking of creatures has anyone any idea what is going on with the bee’s? We are noticing very erratic behaviors, erratic flying patterns, aggression towards each other and other flying insects, the humming of there wings is very loud and they it seems that these bees are not happy. You know a bee goes along and he collecting pollen from the flowers and life is good. These bee’s are not like that and I get a weird vibe of caution from them. I sent an e-mail to ODNR and asked them if there is something we should be aware of.

    Have a great day everyone, and a Happy Fathers Day.

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