Sunday, June 14, 2009

My love of bats and an update on white-nosed syndrome

A few days ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service posted an update on the white-nosed syndrome wiping out bats across the East. Since February of 2006 when the first caver came across bats with white fuzz on their muzzles hundred of thousands of bats have died.

I love bats. I really do. Look at how cute this guy is! We even get them in our house from time to time and it's my job to catch them and safely put them outside. The first time we had a little brown bat flying around the top of our staircase my husband screamed "DO SOMETHING!" We still laugh about it to this day, but he's right, if one of us has the experience with flying animals it'd be me.

So I am truly saddened to learn that in some hibernacula 90 to 100% of bats are dying.
A fungus with a previously undescribed morphology was isolated from ten bats, so at least we now have a culprit. USFW is aggressively tackling this problem. What can you do?
-Put up a bat house
-if you get bats in your house don't kill them. They're relatively harmless, gently catch them in a towel and shake them out the window. If they really freak you out call your local animal control officer.
-don't use chemicals on your property (pesticides and fertilizers), these little guys eats a lot of bugs that crawl around your property and those chemicals get passed on to the bats.
-don't explore in caves without checking the cave closure list

Many people are freaked out by bats, but they do so much good. A little brown bat can eat 600 mosquitoes in ONE HOUR! We live near a river, we'll gladly coexist with all the bats that want to live in our neighborhood!


  1. We have a bat that resides on our patio. He lives behind a window shutter. We have removed him and drove him to other locations. He always comes back. For three years he (I guess he's a he), has returned every summer. I am just use to him now. If he stays out of my way, I will stay out of his. We have an agreement. I suppose I should name him and claim him but it might be hard to explain a pet bat.

  2. We have lived in places where we could watch the bats come and go, they are so facinating. I have never seen any where we are now.

    Hopefully a solution can be found quickly for this problem.

    He is a cute little guy.


  3. Rae: that's so cute that you have a bat friend living on your porch, and very sweet that you coexist. Let me know if you give him a name!

    SQ: that's sad that you don't have bats where you live, but you're lucky to have had the chance to see them in your past. I hope you get to again!


  4. Hi Kate ,

    Wonderful post ,i love watching these wee guys and like you say they do so much for us all, like the wee bees it is so sad but also so worrying that they are under so much threat across the world
    and we must do everything we can to help..

    Thanks for popping bye my blog and telling me the link is not working , i have sorted it the link is

    thanks again and all the best from the daft hermit in the scottish mountains

  5. Hi Kate, thanks for dropping by my blog and appreciate your kind comments.

    With reference to the tea tree tip, the plants I used it on seem to be in better shape than before. I cannot say the green peppers have started blooming, but I'm watching carefully. I used the tea tree on the squash and they are bearing squash again, the blossom rot appears to have stopped. It was a last ditch effort along with a natural insecticidal spray mix before removing the plants. :D

  6. Cow feels so sorry for all denizens of the earth, frogs being wiped out, bats dying, other things losing their habitat. It's hard to stake a claim to your home unless you are homo sapiens, apparently.

    Cow wishing all bats a safe place free from predators and white stuff.


  7. Thanks Hermit! I visited your site, although my favorite picture of you reflected in a water drop was not there :( perhaps you will add that some day and I will order a copy? :)

    Lynn, thanks for visiting and following!

    Cow, I hope you do not lose your habitat one day and someone keeps you nice and clipped and looking quite bovine.


  8. Sometime, I'll tell you the story of why bats are special in our family. How do I build a bat house???

  9. Abigail, that's an EXCELLENT idea for a blog! I'm on it! Plus I want to hear that story some day...

  10. We dislodged a bat from the house using a broom. No! not THAT way! When the creature got tired and clung to a surface to rest we gently slid a broom underneath him. He (she) clung to the broom straws and we were able to cart him (she) outside.
    We like bats too. I love those big fruit bats.

  11. deborah, good for you to humanely remove a bat, AND by yourself! I once had to use a wooden dowel to coax one out from my baseboard heating unit, I pulled it out by its teeth! That was one pissed off bat!


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