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Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Dave!Greetings from the Bat Cave.

There are so many of the little guys hanging around my neighborhood lately that it kind of feels like a Bat Cave. Every evening I crack my window open for some cool air and can hear them flapping around outside. I thought that bats were inaudible to humans, but I'm definitely hearing some kind of squeaking going on as well (I'm assuming it's not birds, because it's so dark out).

I love bats. In addition to being cute as hell, they eat insets by the bajillions... even a small bat can consume hundreds of mosquitos an hour. As if that wasn't enough, bats were the inspiration for one of the greatest super-heroes of all time: The Batman!

Baby Fruit Bats!
Cute baby fruit bats photo taken from a story at The Daily Mail

I mostly feel sorry for bats since they have an unwarranted reputation for spreading disease and sucking people's blood and stuff. Because of this, people try to kill bats and destroy their homes. That's really too bad, because bats are actually pretty harmless to humans. On the contrary, bats are so beneficial to have around that the Organization for Bat Conservation actually encourages people to purchase nifty bat houses.

Awww... it's kind of nice that they put a bat symbol on the outside so that bats know they're welcome to go inside and make themselves at home...

Bat House
Bat-Jacuzzi is sadly not included

Sadly, many bats are in danger of becoming an endangered species because the places they live are being polluted or destroyed. As an important part of our ecosystem, this is bad news for both bats and humans.

But there's a way you can help! Become a member of Bat Conservation International. When you join up, you'll get a free subscription to BATS Magazine, a quarterly publication filled with cool photos and articles about our fuzzy, guano-producing friends.

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  1. delmer says:

    That has got to be the only photo I’ve ever seen that makes bats look adorable. (Well, Yvonne Craig did a nice job too).

  2. adena says:

    I don’t mind bats at all. I remember when I was a kid in Portland, the church down the street from me had a giant tree out front, and at dusk when I’d ride my bike down there (because we could DO that then!) they’d all be out flying around. I loved it.

    And, when my parents moved to the country, the house they bought was infested w/ bats in the attic (belfry?) We eventually had to gently evict them, but for a while there, at night, I’d always hear them flapping and squeaking around.

  3. Troy says:

    I too love bats. What I don’t love is when they find their way into our office and fly around when I am the only one left in the office. That’s freaky. Though I usually just run out of the office and let the bat figure out how to get out – they always do.

  4. Penelope says:

    I’m with you on this – I adore bats! how fabulous to have them flying around your home! I so rarely see any here, despite huge great Oak trees in my garden :o(

  5. A few years ago I was at a party. I said something about needing bats because the bugs were really bad. I then talked about how it probably wouldn’t be too hard to make a bat house. My husband and the other guy standing with us laughed at me like crazy and looked at me like they thought I was insane because I was serious. I had no idea where to get one for real and I am definitely doing it. I’d like to say it was completely because of the bats but it’s also a tiny bit because my entire neighorhood has been teasing me about it since then. Kind of a good for the enviornment in your face kind of thing.

  6. Sybil Law says:

    I love bats. We have a bat house! 🙂

  7. diane says:

    My Dad is completely freaked out by bats and (eep) killed one in our house once.
    But you know what? I think they are kind of cute. And I TOTALLY want to go in the Bat Cave at Carlsbad Caverns!!

  8. I love bats. When we lived in Memphis, we always purchased the family passes to the Zoo, so we could go when ever we wanted and see the critters! Feeding time was awesome and my kids loved it.

    Gotta get the little ones started on the conservation thing early!

  9. Bat houses are awesome! As a used-to-be-caver, we get that bats are great for eating the bugs. Don’t waste your money on citronella candles, get bat and toad houses. Those two creatures eat more mosquitoes than we can imagine!

  10. Jon says:

    Bats are awesome. We have a bunch of them in the woods around my home, and it’s fun to go outside at dusk and watch them fly around.

    The gnats can be really annoying around here in the summer, especially when I’m out walking my dog in the evening, and it gives me some small measure of comfort to know that those little bastards will get theirs when the bats find them.

  11. Jill says:

    I like bats too. But not when they live in my eaves and won’t leave. It’s great that they eat bugs, but their droppings really smell and cause a lot of damage. And if I wanted to professional to get rid of them it would cost over $300 that I don’t have. If you can even get the guy to show up. And yes, I’ve tried all the get-rid-of-bat suggestions, but I have very smart bats. And I do have bat houses out away from the house, but they don’t want to live there. They would rather ruin my house instead 🙁

  12. ETinNY says:

    One time my best friend invited me and another friend to spend the weekend at his family’s cabin on a lake in New Hampshire. While in bed I felt a flutter of air on my face and thought “Cool, a bat!”, (Probably getting a mosquito that otherwise would’ve gotten me), and faded back off to sleep. A little later “city boy” in the next room, shouted out: “JESUS CHRIST, WHAT WAS THAT?” We told him that it was just a bat and he freaked out even more. We turned on the lights, tried to calm him down and ended up finding a flashlight to show him some of the other bats roosting in the eves and surprisingly enough he thought they were thought they were kinda cute. He then settled down and went back to bed, comfortable in the fact that they weren’t going to do anything more that keep him scratching mosquito bites, the next day…Bat are cool!

  13. Badger says:

    Dude! I love bats! You have seen the ones here in Austin, yes? Under the Congress Avenue bridge? Largest freetailed colony in North America, or whatever? Please tell me you have. If not, the next Davestin will have to include a stop there for bat watching.

  14. Poppy says:

    Bats are so damn cute I just wanna hug ’em and pinch their cheeks. Before the entire life in the country went south the ex and I were planning to have bat houses on our property. 🙂

  15. I have to mention here that once I had a huge bat in my house and, after screaming for 3 hours, CAUGHT IT AND THREW IT OUTSIDE. Fucking hell. It’s been over a year and it still freaks me out to think about it.

  16. whall says:

    Next time you come to Austin, I’d like to treat you to the Bat Dinner Cruise.

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