There are close to 1,000 bat species in the world. In fact, bats make up a quarter of all mammal species on earth! There are 25 species of bats that make California home. Bats are important animals that are underrated. They are vital for pollination and seed-dispersal in the world’s rainforests and are the worlds primary predators of flying insect pests. They are great at natural pest control because 70% of them consume insects. Sadly, bats are killed due to misinformation and ignorance. Bats have been subject to folklore and myths associated with witchcraft, haunted houses and evil. This has been going on for centuries and can cause us to fear them, but there’s no reason to because bats are harmless.
Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight because they have extremely elongated fingers and a wing membrane stretched between. They are active at night, dusk and dawn and spend most of their lives hanging upside down in dark caves. Bats can find their way around in total darkness with an adaptation that they have developed. This is also how they find their prey. It’s called echolocation and is a highly sophisticated sense of hearing. They emit sounds that bounce off objects in their flight path, that send echoes back to the bats. This can help them figure out the size of objects, how far they are and how fast they are going, and it can all happen in a split second.
Many people think bats look like flying rodents, but they are more closely related to humans than rodents. Some scientists believe that bats evolved from a non-flying mammal that lived mostly in trees, about a hundred million years ago! Bats can vary in size and appearance. They have leathery wings with large eyes, small ears and extended snouts. These features allow bats to get around in the dark. Their wings are hairless and protected by leathery, rubbery skin. They can be black, brown, tan, red and gray with torsos that are covered in hair. The smallest bats are about 3 inches long with a wingspan of eight inches and the largest bats can get to seven inches long with a wingspan of two feet across.
Bats as Pests
The three most common species of bats that get into homes are the little brown bat, the big brown bat and the Mexican free-tailed bat. A group of bats can fill an attic with droppings, called guano. This can cause staining on the walls and carries health risks. If guano dust is inhaled, it can cause infection in the lungs and can cause respiratory problems for those that suffer from asthma. Bats are also known to carry rabies that can be fatal in humans if treatment doesn’t start right way.
Bat Inspections, Control & Removal in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
Bats are wild animals that will bite to defend themselves. They should never be approached or handled. The best way to prevent and control bats is to contact professional pest control. Contact Animal Pest Management Services, Inc. to handle any pest problems.