Known for their spooky reputation from Halloween decor, bats actually serve beneficial purposes in nature. They are responsible for the dispersal of seeds, as pollinators and as natural pesticides. They consume masses of insects including mosquitos, which they prefer to eat 1,000 of, per night!
“Individuals of some bat species can capture 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour and large colonies can consume tremendous quantities. For example, a Florida colony of 30,000 southeastern bats consumes 50 tons of insects annually, including over 15 tons of mosquitoes … “
How did bats become so tightly and enduringly associated with Halloween? Interestingly, enough, and most fitting for a discussion on our blog, it seems much of it had to do with the bat’s affinity for chowing down on insects.
Consider this excerpt from the article, “The Bat,” at the website Haunted Bay:
“Bats have long been associated with Halloween but the connection is by far less ominous than some would suspect. In Halloween’s ancient origins people would gather together around giant bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Attracted to the warmth and bright light of these fires were many small flying insects. Natural food for hungry bats. People saw the bats flickering in and out of the firelight during the festivals and they became a feature of Halloween lore.”
The poor bat. Talk about can’t win for trying.
Image source: RedBubble
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