Bats, Your Friends. You need not be afraid

Recently, we mounted a bat house in our backyard. I expected some people to think this was strange, but I was absolutely overwhelmed by how many people thought we were crazy. There are far too many myths about bats, and our fear in them is completely unfounded.

Some Common Myths

  1. Bats carry rabies. Bats don’t carry rabies, but they can like other animals contract rabies. Less than 1 half of 1 percent of all bats actually contract rabies. Raccoons continued to be the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species (34.9% of all animal cases during 2008), followed by bats (26.4%), skunks (23.2%), foxes (6.6%), and other wild animals, including rodents and lagomorphs (1.9%).
  2. Bats bite people. Bats like any animal will protect themselves, if threatened, but the thought that bats are interested in people is silly. There are over 1100 species of bats and only 3 are vampire bats. Even vampire bats don’t feed on humans, instead feeding on animals.

Why do you need a bat house?

Mosquitoes! Bats can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes per hour. Since mosquitoes can carry nasty viruses such as West Nile virus besides being just plain annoying, I consider this a very green solution.

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