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Bats Get a Bad Wrap

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Maybe it’s the rare ability of a mammal to fly, or the fact that once the sun goes down they awake to prowl the dark skies. For whatever reason you choose, the bat has been the subject of fear for most people. There are even some bats that feed entirely on blood. It’s not hard to find a reason to stay clear of these nocturnal bloodsucking monsters. With almost every continent having bats roaming their night skies, you’re going to need a lot of luck hiding from bats. With so many bats in the world, they must fill a need that is beneficial to the ecosystem where they live. If you have a chat with a farmer I’m sure they would have a different view of bats than most.

If you’re looking to include bats in your life there are tall bat houses you can put in your yard to help attract bats to your property. Why would you like to have more bats around? The biggest reason would be to help get rid of flying insects. This helps to enjoy your outside activities without the mosquitos flying around your head. They consume millions of these flying insects. These insects also do a lot of damage to crops, so the farmers definitely see them as friends. Bats also help pollinate and disperse seeds for plants. This also helps restore lost or damaged rainforests.

The bat can have certain attributes that can scare people but when it comes down to it, the bat is more friend than foe. With the bat helping rainforests, farmers, and plants they should get all the help they need. Their numbers have dwindled but farmers and others who know the benefits of having bats around have installed batboxes to help out. So as long as you don’t mind having bats around they are more than willing to give you a hand around the garden.

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National Geographic magazine, December 2010, David Qaummen

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Eric Bender

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