Let's Talk Bats: Nature’s Insect Control
The fact is, bats get a pretty bad rap. They are often portrayed as scary, blood sucking, rabid flying mice. The majority of bats will never get rabies (just like most mammals). As someone who enjoys learning and teaching about bats, I jumped at the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with you, the Benesafe™ community!
"Little brown bat" by USFWS Headquarters is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Many bats eat LOTS of bugs! By doing this, bats reduce the amount of pesticides farmers need to use (which also means less pesticides polluting the environment). They also reduce the amount of produce damaged by pests (which means more food for us!). The New York Times published an article stating that scientists estimate that bats in the United States save us somewhere between $3.7 billion and $54 billion per year in pest control services.
Why are bats in trouble?
Unfortunately, there is a disease that is wiping out bat populations all over North America. White-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats. There is no cure for white-nose syndrome, but scientists are working together to study the disease and what can be done to control it.
What can we do?
We can help bats out by creating a habitat for them. Bat houses are a great way to provide a safe place for bats to live. Join your local bat conservation groups and get involved with efforts to save the bats. [For example, PA Bat Rescue has an awesome social media presence!]