The most common species of colonizing bats, in Georgia, that enter homes and buildings are the Little Brown Bat | myotis lucifugus, the Big Brown Bat, and the Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat | tadarida brasiliensis.
Useful Bat Information
Bats are subject to countless myths, superstition, fear, and uncertainty. They have acquired an almost sinister reputation. Bats are mammals like cats and dogs: they are warm-blooded, they have fur, and they nurse their young with milk. Bats are the only mammals that can fly, although other species can glide from trees. The fingers of bats are specially adapted to support wings of skin.
They are clean, gentle, and intelligent, and they act as nature’s pest control service, eating large numbers of insects such as mosquitoes. Bats prefer clean, draught- free, warm buildings, because of their high matabalism.
Bats are valuable critters worth protecting. Worldwide, they are the primary predators of vast numbers of insects that cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually and spread human disease such as west nile virus. In the United States, little brown bats often eat mosquitos and can consume 1,200 insects in an hour.
In the spring, usually around May, female bats roost together to rear young, this habit is known as a maternity colony, where each female gives birth to one to two babies. Naked, and blind at first, the young bats grow quickly, feeding on a diet of rich milk from their mothers. By August they are fully weaned and able to fly and fend for themselves.
Bats hibernate during winter, choosing caves, tunnels, and other cave- like places. Their temperature drops and their heartbeat slows, in order to conserve energy. They may wake up several times during hibernation, either to feed in milder weather or to move to a more suitable site.
Bat rabies accounts for approximately one to two deaths each year in the United States. Thus, some people consider bats to be dangerous. Worldwide, more than 30,000 humans die of rabies each year, 99% of these cases resulting from contact with dogs, in third-world countries. In the United States, due to highly successful dog vaccination programs, transmission from dogs is now rare, eliminating the vast majority of human cases.
More Bat Info
Nearly 40% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered. Reduction in bat numbers are occurring at an alarming rate.
Austin, San Antonio, and several other Texas cities likely support the highest bat densities in America. The estimated 20 million Mexican free-tail bats from Bracken Cave, Texas eat 250 tons of insects, nightly.
Bats are mammals belonging to the order Chiroptera, a name of Greek origin meaning “hand-wing,”
Evidence for bat-like flying mammals appears as far back as the Eocene Epoch, some 50 million years ago.
“Blind as a bat” is a common saying yet one that is false. All bats can see, even though vision may be less important than other senses. To locate and catch prey, insectivorous bats use an acoustic orientation called echolocation.
The North American little brown bat is a long-lived mammal with a life span exceeding 30 years.
A few species of bats are carnivorous, eating small frogs, lizards, and birds. Other species are known for their fish-eating habits and are usually specialized by having huge hind feet and claws.
In migratory species of bats mating occurs in the fall and winter. The female stores the sperm until spring when ovulation and fertilization occur.
The world’s smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand, which weighs less than a penny.