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About Bats

All Washington State bats are insect eaters. One bat can catch and eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in just one hour.

Bats use a type of sonar system called echolocation to navigate in the dark and forage for food. The bat’s ability to echolocate is so acute that they can distinguish the size, shape and even texture of a tiny insect, and it enables them to avoid obstacles no wider than a piece of thread.

Bats roost in places such as caves, abandoned mines, cliffs, rock crevices, wood piles, under loose tree bark, in dead tree hollows, under bridges, and in barns.

Females generally give birth to a single pup sometime between mid-May to mid-July. Babies are born hairless and helpless but mature quickly. Their ears and eyes open within hours, and they can learn to fly within three to six weeks.

Drastic reductions in bat populations have occurred during recent years, and it seems the most significant threats to their survival are caused by human disturbance. The most common human impacts include habitat destruction, direct killing, vandalism,  sticky pest strips, chemical toxicants, and disturbance of hibernating and maternity colonies.

Glue Strips and Bats

If you plan on using a sticky trap for flies and other insects in your barn or outdoor area, please wrap it in a wire cage. You can use a small piece of chicken wire to enclose the fly strip and protect bats and birds from becoming stuck.

A bat stuck in the goo struggles to get free and then starts grooming to remove the sticky stuff. If the sticky stuff has an insecticide in it, the bat will ingest this material as he tries to clean it off. Even if the bat can be freed from the trap, the insecticide will poison the bat and these trapped bats usually don’t survive.

Please think about NOT using sticky traps for unwanted insects, sometimes those traps kill good bugs, too.