Which bats are mostly diurnal
General information about the bat
Many people find them creepy, some are downright disgusted with them: bats are not exactly popular because of their nocturnal lifestyle and many mystical horror stories. They also ensure that the number of flying pests remains low in the garden.
Certainly: If you don't like mice, the idea that one of these is flying around your head can send a shiver down your spine. The bat is a fascinating, completely harmless mammal - and an important pest eater in the forest and garden.
Types and distribution
Bats (Microchiroptera) belong together with the fruit bats to the order of the bats (Chiroptera). Most European bats are no taller than eight centimeters, so they fit in the palm of your hand.
The smallest species found in Germany are the rough-skin bat (Pipistrellus nathusii) and the pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) with a body size of three to five centimeters. The largest species are the broad-winged bat (Eptesicus serotinus), the noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) and the great mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) with a body length of six to eight centimeters and an impressive wingspan of around 40 centimeters. There are around 900 bat species worldwide, 40 in Europe and 24 in Germany at the moment. All native species are highly endangered and are under strict protection.
What bats eat
All bat species found in Europe are insectivores. The cliché of the sharp-toothed bloodsucker is only fulfilled by the three species of the vampire bat native to America. In the tropics and subtropics, on the other hand, there are many vegetarian bats that feed on fruits and nectar. For many years, the effect of the bat on the environment was greatly underestimated. However, your contribution as a pest killer in our latitudes is very important for maintaining the natural balance.
Their reputation literally precedes them: bats use a sophisticated system of echolocation to find their way around. Ultrasonic waves are emitted, which are reflected by the surrounding objects and thus give the bat an exact "hearing image" of its environment. In order to be able to absorb the sound waves better, many bat species have greatly enlarged ears. The location is so precise that the pipistrelle can snap out of the air even a few millimeters of small fruit flies such as the cherry vinegar fly. In addition to their black and white vision, some species of bats can see UV light. An additional magnetic sense helps them - like migratory birds - with orientation on longer stretches.
Bats are nocturnal. After they slept through the day in crevices, dead trees, roof gables or caves, they catch their prey at dusk. Once a summer roost has been selected, it is usually retained - bats are very loyal to their place. After the mating season from late summer to autumn, the bats migrate to their winter quarters, which are often several 100 kilometers away from their summer homes. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of bats gather in draft-free, dry places such as church towers, ruins, mountain caves or mining tunnels to sleep tightly together during the cold months. During the summer, the small mammals, like all winter sleepers, eat a thick layer of fat that brings them through the cold season.
Bats in the garden
Most bats live in the forests, but as a culture follower they also settle in the settlements. In older residential buildings and barns there are mostly suitable dwellings for the cave dwellers. Anyone who has bats in the neighborhood shouldn't have any problems with flying pests. The hard-working insect hunters decimate plum and codling moths, owl butterflies, mosquitoes, blowflies, moths and many other pests and pests.
The widespread chemical pest control decimates these insects across Germany to such an extent that the bats are deprived of their livelihood in many places - even though the animals were placed under legal protection as early as 1936. The presence of bats is therefore a sign of largely intact nature. If you want to lure bats into your garden, you should above all avoid chemical insecticides and offer the bats some shelter around the house or shed. Special bat boxes serve the flight artists as sleeping and nesting places. If the garden is then made insect-friendly, there is also enough food for the flying mammals.
Bat in the house - what to do
In autumn in particular, bats, sometimes even larger groups, often get lost in living rooms through tilted windows because they consider them a good place to sleep. How do you get them back out of the apartment? It is best to leave the bats hanging on the curtain or behind the closet during the day and open the window in the evening so that the animals can find their way out again. The window should be kept closed for the next few nights so that the animals cannot return. Those who do not want to tolerate the furry guests in the apartment during the day can call the fire brigade, or better the regional bat emergency service.
If you dare to, you can carefully remove the animals from their roost and bring them outside. Make sure to wear sturdy gloves, because the 32 to 38 pointed teeth of the insectivores should not be underestimated. If you have found an injured bat or a lost cub, put it in a box on a towel and contact the responsible regional bat keeper. You can find telephone lists online or at the responsible nature conservation authority.
Bats find valuable quarters on and in houses: the roof ridge (1) offers good shelter, and bats can enter the roof structure via open skylights (2) and ventilation tiles without a sieve insert (3). Bat boxes (4) can be attached to house facades and the animals can also rest behind shutters (5). Gaps (6) in the wood paneling and in wood paneling (7) also offer shelter. Boxes for unused roller blinds (8) are also gladly accepted. Open cellar windows (9) allow the animals to enter the cellar. Outbuildings (10) are often a little quieter and therefore ideally suited for bats. By the way: Bat droppings can be easily swept up and are also an excellent garden fertilizer!
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