The Facts About Bats

It’s October and we’re ramping up at Century 21 for ghosts, goblins and Halloween night in the Georgian Triangle. And deep in the caves, rooks and nannies, many bats will be getting ready for a long winter of hibernation.

In many parts of the world bats suffer from a bad reputation with superstitious beliefs about them. Regarded as carriers of rabies, bats are considered blood-eaters and beasts that tangle themselves in people’s hair.

The fact is that bats worldwide provide us with numerous benefits; they are an important part of our ecosystem and an indicator of a healthy environment. Bats are often feared and misunderstood despite the fact that these creatures are an invaluable and beneficial part of our natural environment. They have fascinating abilities making them one of the most interesting species in Ontario.

Bats look like a flying mouse. A common name for them was once flitter mouse. With their wings folded around them like a cloak, hanging upside-down by their hooked hind legs, they’re the only mammals on Earth capable of sustaining self-propelled flight.

In Ontario, there are eight different species of bats - Big Brown, Little Brown, Eastern Pipistrelle, Silver-haired, Hoary, Red, Small-footed, and the Northern Long-eared. The most common of these is the little brown bat, which is the only bat in Ontario that prefers to eat mosquitos. This bat also eats moths, plant bugs, and flies, which ultimately makes your gardening experience more enjoyable. These are just a few insects they eat.

In the farming industry, bats are known as the “farmers’ hired hand” because of the quantity of insects they consume. In an hour, a bat can consume 600 to 1000 mosquitos or half of their body weight in insects! Remember, birds are off duty at night, and bats are an important form of natural control for insects such as mosquitos, and it’s in our own interest to perpetuate them.

Each year bats are forced to live closer with humans and compete for food, shelter and space. Their habitats are quickly being destroyed due to population growth and development. Now that bats are looking for roosting sites to hibernate and Halloween is just around the corner, learn to appreciate their importance and protect these fascinating eerie creatures.

News provided by Century 21 Millennium.

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