Endangered Species
Midwest Region

 

 

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10 Ways to Be A Friend to Bats

Be a citizen scientist. Reduce pesticide use. Join a bat conservation organization. Your steps can make a difference.

 

Illustration of bats in profile against a full moon.

 

1. Be a bat ambassador! 

 

Learn more about bats, and share what you learn with family or friends.  Bats get a bad rap and we need your help dispelling myths about bats and helping people learn about these fascinating and beneficial animals.  Spread the word … bats aren’t scary!

 

2. Reduce pesticides

 

All of the bats that live in the Midwest eat insects - a single bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night!  Bats are primary predators of night-flying insects, including many pest species.  Feed a hungry bat by minimizing the use of pesticides in your lawn and garden.

 

3. Promote natural bat habitat

 

Around your home leave dead and dying trees where they don’t create a hazard … these are favored roosting sites for bats.

 

4. Protect water quality

 

Protect streams and wetlands to provide clean water sources and good foraging areas for bats.

 

5. Put up a bat house.

 

Instructions can be found on Bat Conservation International's website at www.batcon.org/resources/getting-involved/bat-houses

 

6.  Be a citizen scientist.  

 

Many Midwestern States have bat-related citizen science projects.  Examples are acoustic bat monitoring and summer bat roost counts.  Contact the natural resource agency in your state to learn what is available. 

 

7. Avoid disturbing bats. 

 

Stay out of caves and mines where bats are hibernating in winter.  If a bat is disturbed during hibernation, it may arouse and become active.  This increased activity can lead to starvation if the bat’s fat reserves are used up before winter is over.

 

8. Safely remove or exclude bats

 

If a bat accidently flies into your home, try to remove it safely without harming the bat.  If bats take up residence in your home, use humane methods to exclude the bats.  If you contact a professional to help with bat exclusion, be sure to ask them if they use humane methods. Safe removal methods can be found on the Organization for Bat Conservation website at batconservation.org/learn/bat-in-your-house/. Safe and humane exclusion methods can also be found on their website at batconservation.org/learn/nuisance-bats/.

 

9. Help out

 

Join an organization that focuses on bat conservation.

 

10. Find out more

 

Find out more about white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats, and help to avoid possible spread of WNS by humans.

 


Midwest Endangered Species

 

Last updated: July 19, 2016