Bats show up everywhere this time of year as people decorate for Halloween, but bats are nothing to be afraid of. Really, we just think they’re scary cool, and here’s why:
A small bat eats between 1,000 and 2,000 small insects every night.
Who needs a bug zapper when you have a bat house in your backyard? Bats use sonar to find dinner when it’s pitch black out. Bats make noises, which bounce off the bugs and back to the bats’ ears, where the sound is picked up by the bats’ specialized hearing.
They know how to hang.
Bats hang upside down not to be scary, but because it allows them to roost in places where predators can’t reach them. It also allows them to get into the air faster by falling to achieve flight.
Bats can catch some zzzzzs.
One of Iowa’s few true hibernators, bats hibernate all winter until there are insects to chow down on again.
They’re the only flying mammals in Iowa.
Sure, there are flying squirrels, but really, they’re just gliding. Bats are our only flying mammals in the state.
They grow up so quickly.
Within three weeks of being born, young bats are taking flight. They grow quickly, being full-grown in about a month after birth. Young bats take off for their own roosts once they’re weaned.
Give them a home.
While bats can be bothersome pests in an attic, you can take simple steps to prevent them getting in your house in the first place. Then build a bat house for your yard, so bats still have a place to roost while wiping out the skeeters in your yard.
Learn more about Iowa’s wildlife on our Iowa Critters board on Pinterest.