The Bat is a Fellow Bug Exterminator
As a general rule, bats are not very popular with people, regardless of any benefits the pest management experts say they provide. Too often, bats are perceived by the general public, as dangerous, ugly and frightening. But, what most people are not aware of, is that those “hideous” bats prevent billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. agriculture industry, by consuming common insect pests that frequently eat and destroy important crops. In fact, it has been estimated that bats provide the American agriculture industry with free pest control services, that are valued at (upwards of) fifty three billion dollars a year! …Gives new meaning to bat pest control.
Some people would also be surprised to know, that bats do not just exterminate large amounts of common insect pests, across the United States. The bats’ free natural insect control contribution, reduces potential pesticide use by property owners and farmers, and helps to keep entire eco-systems; in delicate balance. As well, other important contributions made by bats, include: a vital role in pollinating many popular species of plants (like mangoes and bananas) and innovative medical applications; that suggest vampire bat saliva prevents strokes (Draculin). Nevertheless, people despise them, everywhere.
And the Vampire Bat?
Although movies and television have spent decades using bats to frighten audiences, people should re-think their negative feelings toward the bat population across America, and consider that of the 1200 recognized species of bats; only three actually feed on blood. And those three species, very rarely have an encounter with humans. Furthermore, any danger that is associated with a bat bite, is attributed to the potential for the transmission of disease; such as rabies. With that being said, the benefits that bats consistently offer to farmers and families across America, definitely overshadows any risk associated; with an unlikely bite or attack.
- Iowa on watch for foreign insect invaders (thegazette.com)
- Unfair To Bats (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
- Mysterious Plague Killing Off Bats (abcnews.go.com)
- Vampire Bats Detect Blood With Their Noses (huffingtonpost.com)