It’s lovely synchronistic timing that National Bat Week is the seven days including Halloween (Bat Week=October 26-November 1).
Here’s why bats are NOT scary, but the prospect of losing them is terrifying:
> Bats maintain the health of our environment–eating insects and controlling those populations is hugely important, to which any scratchy mosquito bite you’ve ever had attests. A single bat can eat up to 5,000 insects per night.
>With a healthy bat population, farmers need fewer pesticides, which means safer food sources for us. Bats save the agricultural industry in America about $23 billion per year.
>Bats pollinate plants and disperse seeds, invigorating the health of forests, jungles, and many other ecosystems. Bats are the ONLY pollinators of agave–so your forward-thinking sweetener AND your tequila go out the window with no bats!
BUT… a fungus called “white nose syndrome” is decimating many bat populations–up to six million bats have died from it to date–add that to the destruction of habitat and difficult climate issues affecting their health, and we’ve got a potentially buggy problem on our hands.
Be a friend to bats. Advocate for them. Protect their habitats. Create new habitat (bat houses on the side of your home or trees are a great addition to landscaping). I’m sure someone can teach me why I should love mosquitoes and wish more of them would feed on me…but until then…I’m all for the bats.