This might drive you batty, but thats really the goal. Monday kicked off National Bat Week led by the Organization for Bat Conservation, with close collaboration from Bat Conservation International and the U.S. Forest Service.
If you don't like bugs then bats are your new BFFS (you know, bat friends forever).
While you are resting in the comfort of your nice warm cozy bed, bats are out there chomping down on insects by the dozens. They pollinate flowers and spread seeds that grow new plants and trees. Do mosquitoes irritate you? Bats have your back or your arms and legs. They love them as well as moths, beetles, crickets and many other little flying pests.
They save us a ton of money on pest control by eating all these insects and many of these insects can be fatal to livestock as well as our forests.
Full of it
Bats are full of it. They have poop that is as good as gold to farmers. You might think about this for your garden at home. Besides devouring insects and pollinating plants, bat poop -- or "guano" -- is actually a fertilizer that is in demand. It is so strong that people who collect it have to wear gas masks and protective clothing. Farmers benefit greatly as guano is the best fertilizer.
Hollywood would have us think that vampires suck the life out of you, but it's really the opposite. Vampire bats contain a blood thinning chemical that can help stroke victims and others that need it.
There is a population decline with bats because of a rather new disease. It started in the U.S. where it was found in 2006 and has spread to Canada . It's called White-Nose Syndrome and it has killed more than 6 million bats in just the last 6 years. The condition is named for a distinctive fungal growth that is found around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats. The fungus has been found in caves and mines throughout the Northeastern U.S. and as far south as Mississippi and west to Missouri and into five Canadian provinces.
“You don’t need extraordinary powers or a lot of money to help protect bats there are many actions both great and small that can help conserve bats and the places where they live," said Brandon Hartleben, a Forest Service wildlife biologist for the Eastern Region.
Celebrating all things bat related this week is a great way to educate yourself and your family about these night flying superheroes. The USDA has a list of events that you can partake in on their blog.