Bats are a mammals that hibernate in the winter months. Most bats are nocturnal creatures. Their daylight hours are spent grooming and sleeping; they hunt during the nighttime hours. The means by which bats navigate while finding and catching their prey in the dark.Bats seem to use their ears to locate and catch their prey. Bat roosts can be found in hollows, crevices, foliage, and even human-made structures, and include "tents" the bats construct by biting leaves.
The United States is home to an estimated
45 to 48 species of bats.The three most common species are Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat), Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat), and Tadarida brasiliensis (Mexican free-tailed bat). The little and the big brown bat are common throughout the northern two-thirds of the country, while the Mexican free-tailed bat is the most common species in the southwest.
The majority of food consumed by bats includes insects, fruits and flower nectar, vertebrates and blood. Almost three-fourths of the world’s bats are insect eaters. Insects consumed by bats include both aerial and ground-dwelling insects. Each bat is typically able to consume one-third of its body weight in insects each night, and several hundred insects in a few hours. This means a group of one thousand bats could eat four tons of insects each year. If bats were to become extinct, the insect population is calculated to reach an alarmingly high number.
In regions where rabies is endemic, only 0.5% of bats carry the disease. In the United States, bats typically constitute around a quarter of reported cases of rabies in wild animals. However, their bites account for the vast majority of cases of rabies in humans. Rabid bats may be clumsy, disoriented, and unable to fly, which makes it more likely they will come into contact with humans. One should avoid handling them or having them in one's living space, as with any wild animal. Bats have very small teeth and can bite a sleeping person without being felt.
If at any time a bat is found in your home contact Animal Control. The bat will be removed and tested for rabies. This also applies if the bat is found dead.