Image of bat hanging upside down off a branch

Bats: 10 Fun Facts to Feast Your Fangs Into

If you’ve been paying attention to pop culture news lately, you likely weren’t able to escape the chatter surrounding The Batman: the newest DC installment that takes the reluctant, unsung superhero to even darker depths. While receiving mixed box office reviews, it did its job in bringing bats to the forefront of our brains. To celebrate this new fanged, feature flick, here are 10 fun facts about bats you may not know:

1.     Bats can live more than 30 years

Bats have quite the lifetime, living more than 30 years in many cases. When they’re born, baby bats are called “pups,” and most bats only have one pup per year. This makes them extremely vulnerable to extinction. To find their pup and keep them safe, mother bats track their baby’s unique voice and scent. This can help them distinguish their pup from thousands, even millions, of other baby bats.

2.     Bats are the only flying mammal

Sure, flying squirrels roam the city but their name is misleading as they don’t actually fly, they glide. Bats on the other hand (or wing) can fly for considerable amounts of time in a sustained fashion. So, they’ve taken the title as the world’s only flying mammal.

3.     Bats are nocturnal

We don’t call them creatures of the night for nothing. Unlike (most) mammals, bats choose to sleep during the day, and roam in the night. In fact, if you see a bat during the day, it usually means there is a problem. They may be sick, or their resting spot may have been disturbed by a predator, leaving them to hunt for a new home. Luckily, they’re not too picky when it comes to real estate. From caves and hollow trees to buildings, chimneys, or crevices in rocky areas, bats prefer dark, confined spaces. While this versatility works in the bat’s favour, it could mean trouble for homeowners. If you suspect there’s a bat living in your home or commercial building, call Atlas Pest and Wildlife for quick and effective pest control in Vancouver.

4.     Bats are not in the bird family

While you may assume these creatures of flight evolved in similar fashion to birds, they actually come from separate genealogies. In fact, bat wings are completely unlike that of a bird. A bird wing features an “arm-bone” design that runs along the forward ridge and supports a thick blanket of feathers. Whereas a bat wing is composed more similarly to a hand, with finger-like structures running from the forward ridge of the wing to the back. Also, there’s not a feather to be found, just a thin membrane of skin called patagium.

5.     They don’t flap as much as they swim through the air

In both air and water, bats move in a swimming motion like that of a fish. Rather than flapping their wings like a bird, bats have a great amount of flexibility and range, allowing them to utilize a flap and glide technique to “swim” through the air.

6.     Bats LOVE bugs

One pro to having a bat in your backyard is their capacity for bug eating. It has been estimated that some species of bats can eat more than 6,000 bugs per hour. So, after you call for pest control in Vancouver, don’t be surprised if your mosquito count greatly decreases while you’re waiting for our experts to show up.

7.     Bats go with the bugs

If there are no bugs to eat, bats will either dip down to the south for the winter or go into full hibernation mode until their food source returns. Either way, they get a sunny vacation or a four-month nap. Life is not too shabby for bats!

8.     Bat heartbeats have great range

A bat has a wide range of heartbeats. When they’re hibernating, they’re using significantly less energy, therefore, their heartbeat slows to just four beats per minute (bpm). However, when they’re in flight, on a long-distance journey, or amid a hunt, their heartbeat tops out between 400 to 1,100 bpm. To give some context as to just how fast this is, the average human has a range of 70 to 150 bpm.

9.     Stay calm and hang upside down

Bats hang upside down when resting or hibernating, which protects them from predators as they can choose hard-to-access places. Thanks to their one-way valves, bats don’t experience a head rush like humans would. This protects their heads and brains from drowning in blood.

10.  Bats use sound, not sight to find food

For bats living the night life, they use a technique called echolation. By emitting high-pitched sounds into the air, around 10-20 beeps per second, they listen to the echos to locate insects.

Got a Bat? Call Pest Control in Vancouver to Help

As cool as bats are, they don’t make the ideal houseguest. If you have a bat problem in your home or commercial building, we have the solutions. For professional, efficient, and effective pest control in Vancouver, our team at Atlas Pest and Wildlife have the means to help. Contact us today to learn more!

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