Bats: Facts about these little flying furballs
Do bats make you a bit nervous? The best way to conquer your fear is to learn a few things about bats.
If you have bats living in your home, it’s not an ideal situation for you or the bats, so of course call us to evacuate them.
But meanwhile, here are some fun facts about these mysterious little night creatures.
1) Bats are the ONLY mammals that fly! (Those so-called flying squirrels? Well, they should perhaps be called gliding squirrels, because they merely glide from tree to tree; whereas bats actually fly.)
2) The biggest bat in the world is the Malaysian flying fox. It weighs about 2 pounds and has a wingspan of about 6 feet! Don’t worry; you’re not going to find one in Downes Pest & Wildlife’s service area — these big guys are found only in Asia. But if you do live in the Boston area and happen upon a Malaysian flying fox in your attic, never fear: they only eat fruit. Offer it a couple of bananas or something, then post a few pics of it on Facebook before calling the Department of Agriculture and having a serious chat.
3) All bats found in Massachusetts are insectivores. They feed primarily at night, catching thousands of mosquitoes, moths, and other night-flying insects while in flight. It is estimated that an individual bat can eat 600 insects per hour — and many of these are insects that people regard as pests. So really, unless you love itchy mosquito bites, bats in your neighborhood are a good thing!
4) There are three species of vampire bats, and they live in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. Vampires are small bats that drink blood from cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. Those cows, goats, pigs, and chickens reportedly do not then transform into vampire barn animals.
5) The two most common bats found in Massachusetts are the little brown bat and — wait for it — yes, you guessed it, the big brown bat. Both roost in attics, barns, and other hot, dark places.The most common species in rural areas is the little brown bat. During the spring and summer females of this species form colonies consisting of hundreds of individuals. Big brown bats, which prefer the more urban areas inside Route 495, are usually found in colonies of less than two hundred bats.
Bonus Bat Fact: Four out of five female vampire bats think Robert Pattinson is hunky. The fifth bat is always on Team Jacob. Go figure.
Bat fact sources: Organization for Bat Conservation and Mass Audubon.
Except for Bonus Bat Fact, which can not be confirmed at this time.