772-878-1972 bens@benspest.biz

Hello, Ben here with Ben’s pest control. And it’s time for another one of our Ben’s pest control podcasts. And today is actually April 1. And I want to talk about something that’s not really pest control in regards to what we do on a regular basis. But for a lot of clientele, it is pest control as far as animals and things that a lot of people in Florida actually go through. And the timing probably couldn’t be any better because we are coming into the time of the year where people have great frustration with what I’m about to discuss. So for today, we’re going to discuss bats. And like I said, we hear it bends we don’t do with bats. But bats are a common issue in Florida. And what I’d like to do is start by sharing some information about bats for you. And let me start by thanking a website from the Florida museum.ufl.edu for their five facts that I looked up to share with you. So the first thing that may surprise you, there are actually 13 different species of bats that live in Florida. And according to their website, there are more than 1300 species of bats around the world. What I would say is some of them are more common than others. According to this. Some may only migrate here for part of the year but we have some of the more common species according to them is the Brazilian free tailed bat, the southeastern the evening bat, eastern red bat, Seminole bat and northern yellow bat. And then there are a couple of other ones that are on the list that are less common in Florida. And there are actually two species of bat that are endangered in the state. One is the grey bat and the other is the Florida bonneted. Bat. So we have quite a few bats here. Now, when it does come to pest control in our industry. One of the things we tell people is bats are insectivores. And the number two fact on the website is bats eat a lot of insects. They like the moss flies, dragon flies, beetles, wasps, ants, mosquitoes and more. And many bats can actually eat their body weight in insects every single night. Not all bets are bets are not blind, but they use echolocation to spot their prey. And some bat species have been known to travel up to as many as 30 miles away from their home. The next fact that they mentioned on here about bats is baby bats are big compared to their moms. So when the moms have the babies, they usually have one but they can sometimes have to and that the baby can be 25% of the mother’s weight. As they put here that would be like a human giving birth to a 30 or 40 pound baby. And pups in the bat world just like most mammals nurse from their mothers. The number four interesting fact about bats is bat guano. Their droppings, is used as fertilizer because it’s full of nitrogen phosphate and potassium and organic farmers use a lot of it for their crops. Now the website doesn’t talk but I’ve been told before though, that the guano you got to be very careful with there are things that can make people very sick when it comes to bat droppings. The number five thing about bats in Florida bats roost anywhere they can find good shelter. Some species prefer to sleep alone or in small groups while there’s like to be part of large colonies. While some colonies live in caves, those are not common throughout Florida so they often find shelter and manmade structures like buildings and bridges. Solar or small groups roost in tree cavities, underside of branches, palm fronds, Spanish moss and on utility poles or sheds and houses. Most Florida bats love manmade bat houses. There are many plants to download online if you want to look at making some. But
so those are the five interesting facts. But the reason I’m doing the podcasts on this is almost every year we get a client who calls us up and they tell us they think they have bats and we go out and we take a look and usually refer them to an expert but as of April 15 And this is every year, April 15 of every year through August 15. Bats are protected and the bats are protected because that is when they have their babies. So through that four month stretch if you have bats in your house, or in something on your property, it becomes a Situ session where you are not allowed to. To treat them literally, you just can’t do anything they have to get through that reproductive cycle, they have to have their babies and you just have to allow them to be in your house. And that can cause great frustration. As they leave more and more they’re Guana. There’s a definite a strong, pungent smell, almost like ammonia from where they’re going in and out. Now, you might be asking yourself, well, why are bats protected? Now that is something that is definitely in our category. When we discuss pest control. Bats are protected, and most part because as we discussed, they eat one time, some of them eat one times their body weight every night of insects. And in Florida, where we have a lot of standing water, there are plenty of opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and we have mosquito issues throughout the entire state. You’ve got ponds, rivers, lakes, retention ponds, any place where there is stagnant water, the water breeds mosquitoes, and we live in a state where those mosquitoes can carry certain viruses. Florida has recently had cases of Zika and West Nile virus. So the bats are the best natural defense against the mosquito population. So that’s where it kind of becomes a pest control related issue is because the two of them kind of go hand in hand they they support each other as far as their life’s go. And having a good population of mosquitoes means having a good bat population is a good thing for our area to keep that mosquitoes down as much as possible. What I would say is this being that I have taken quite a few classes at the University of Florida, a lot of people probably don’t know this, but the University of Florida actually has bat houses. And it is pretty impressive, really, the bat houses, you can go and you can actually watch the bats leave the houses every night, they come out. And you can sit there and literally watch, I believe they said it’s 2 million the last time I was there, I believe our bats come out of these houses. Now what I would say to you is that if you’re going to go, I would strongly recommend you bring an umbrella. That is some information that wasn’t exactly shared with me. But when they come out there can be a lot of urine and feces and they come out in big, big numbers. So to have an umbrella to protect yourself from anything that could possibly be dropping out of those houses can be a very, very good thing that just helps protect you. And so if you get a chance, I would suggest if you’re up river up in Gainesville, you know, it’s not necessarily a bad idea. It is kind of very specific to anybody who’s got the stomach for it. But you can go and you can watch them. So keep in mind that if if it’s between April 15 and August 15 There’s nothing you can do about the bats, the bats are protected, you need to leave them be otherwise, if you know if there’s any openings in your home or shed or any of the toys on your property bet boats or campers or RVs
you need to get them sealed up before the bats find a way to make them a home because once they make them a home, you are kind of stuck with them and you have very limited opportunities for for controlling them until August 15. So get those areas sealed up. Now if you are interested in a free inspection, we at Ben’s do offer free inspections please give us a call it 772-878-1972 and or check out our website at WWW dot Ben’s pest stop is and give us a shout or email us call us. We’ll be happy to share any information with you can but I hope this helps you and have a great day

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