There are Two Main Species of Bats
All bats can be put into one of two categories: Microchiroptera or Megachiroptera. Microchiroptera, or microbats, are small Echolocating species that mostly consume insects, rodents, birds, and amphibians. These are the types of bats we see here in Michigan. In contrast, Megachiroptera species are much larger and have pronounced visual cortexes. They are primarily found in warmer, tropical regions of the world. Because their diets mostly consist of nectar and pollen from fruits and plants, they are referred to as fruit bats. The Little Brown Bat is an example of Microchiroptera species, and the Flying Fox is an example of a Megachiroptera species.
Bats are 20% of the Entire Mammalia Species
There are more than 900 species of bats in the world, all broken up into different categories and classifications. The Chiroptera Order is the first class in which bats are categorized. From there they are split into suborders, genera, and then species. This amount adds up to nearly a quarter of all the mammals in the animal kingdom.
Bats are the Only Mammal Capable of True Flight
Many people are surprised to learn that bats are actually mammals. But what’s most shocking about this fact is that bats are the only mammal in the world that is capable of true flight. Other mammals, like the flying squirrel, have the ability to leap, jump, soar, or float over great distances, but bats are the only ones who can actually take and maintain flight just like a bird. Now that’s a cool fact!
Bats Consume Over 1,000 Insects Every Hour
Bats are incredibly important parts of our surrounding eco-system for many reasons, and one is pest control. Because bats consume an average of 1000 insects per hour every night, they make outdoor activities much more comfortable and enjoyable. Bats are an excellent method of mosquito control; and they don’t charge for their services! They also help protect surrounding plant life and gardens from insect interference and over-infestation.
Bats Are Not Blind
Microchiroptera, or microbats, use echolocation to help hunt their prey and navigate around in the dark; however, they are not blind. In fact, microbats can see quite well (and hear quite well), but they use their Echolocating abilities to navigate their course, as well as, dart and dash for prey at a more precise rate. Megabats, or fruit bats, do not have Echolocating abilities. They have big eyes and great vision, so they have no need for echolocation.
Bats Are Not Likely to Attack Unless Provoked or Handled
Due to movies and television, many people fear that bats will attack or bite them. The truth is, they CAN if they want to, but most often, they WON’T. Bats are more afraid of us than we are of them, and it is very unlikely for bats to attack a person or other animal. However, there are exceptions. Bats that are ill, injured, mothering, and/or aggravated, may defend themselves upon provocation by biting or scratching. If you have a bat in the house, simply leave it alone to avoid any trouble. If you give it space and let the professionals take it from there, you should not be at risk of a bat bite or attack.
It is Illegal to Trap, Harm, or Kill Bats
Most states forbid anyone from harming, trapping, or killing bats without the proper permits. Bats are a vital part of our eco-system; they should never be exterminated unless they are infected with a fatal or infectious disease, or injured beyond the point of rehabilitation. Only licensed wildlife rescue organizations have the resources and permissions to put a sick or injured bat down. Never attempt to touch, trap, harm, or kill bats. Not only is it likely illegal in your state, it is highly unethical and inhumane. If you have a problem with nuisance bats on your property, contact a licensed bat removal and control company
for safe and humane assistance permitted under law.