Why are bats protected in Florida? | Critter Control Tampa

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What’s so special about bats? There seem to be more laws surrounding them than almost any other animal in the state, and yet they seem to be so common. You’ll frequently see them flying around at dusk, so it’s not like there are only 100 bats still living. Why, then, do they need so much legal protection if they seem to be doing just fine?

Bats are vital for the ecosystem.

You might not know this, but bats do three extremely important jobs for the environment. Without them, the balance of the ecosystem would be thrown off, with dire consequences.

  1. Bug Control – Did you know bats can eat thousands of insects in one night? They curb the populations of mosquitoes, moths, and other damaging pests.
  2. Plant Pollination – Nectar is a favorite food for some species of bats, so they are effective pollinators for several crucial species. They are vital for the production of agave, bananas, cloves, and peaches, among many others.
  3. Seed Spreading – Bats are responsible for restoring forested areas which have been cut down by humans. They spread a great number of seeds more effectively than other mammals since they can fly over natural barriers like rivers and drop-offs.

Researchers estimate that bats save the U.S. over $3.7 billion annually by preventing crop damage and limiting the use of pesticides. Their impact on the earth’s environmental health cannot be overstated, so bats must be protected.

Bats are more threatened than you think.

The problem is, bats around the world are in trouble. Over 1/3 of all bat species are considered threatened or data deficient, meaning we just don’t have enough information to know whether they are endangered.

One main reason for this is that many the females of many different bat species can only have one pup a year. So, if a large population is wiped out due to disease or human activity, it will take a long time for the species to recover to its former numbers.

Laws have been put in place in Florida to help bats maintain and increase their numbers. During the maternity season of bats in the late spring, people are not allowed to remove bats which have roosted in their homes until the end of summer, when the pups have matured. Everyone should respect this law to help our wonderful natural pest controllers continue as a vital part of our environment.

Do you have bats in your home or business? No matter the time of year, you should call Critter Control of Tampa. We can help you figure out what you should do, and can perform a bat exclusion for you if it’s not maternity season. Don’t worry about the mess or damages either – we can clean that up for you as well. Call us today for a free consultation at 813-948-0870.

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