Tips from the Help Desk…
Bats in your belfry
by David Austin
Residential Horticulture Agent and
Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator
Bats are known for their scary Halloween personas. That is if bats can have personas. Nevertheless, they have been tied to vampires and other scary things. Of course, the vampire bat hasn’t helped things, seemingly scary in its own right. Fortunately for Floridians, vampire bats are only found in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Realistically, bats are very beneficial to have around. They are voracious toward insects and can tame a mosquito population. These flying mammals can also be pollinators. Many of them feed on flower nectar and can move pollen from plant to plant. Living mostly in outdoor sheltered areas, they rarely interact with humans in any dangerous way. Although, when they do take up residence in your home it can be disconcerting!
It’s important to understand that bats are protected mammals year-round. They are especially protected from April 15th through August 15th when they are not allowed to be excluded from your home or structures without special permitting. This is the time of year when they are rearing their young. If bats do become a problem in your home, it’s probably best to contact a professional bat mover and leave the job up to someone that understands the rules and laws behind dealing with a protected mammal.
Learn more about Florida bats by clicking here.
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