Do Bats Eat Mosquitoes? Surprising Facts You May Not Know | Kidadl


Do Bats Eat Mosquitoes? Surprising Facts You May Not Know

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The simple answer is yes, bats do eat mosquitoes but not enough to change the ever-growing mosquito populations in the world.

Bats love to feed on mosquitoes and they do it in large numbers too, but remember mosquitoes are not the favorite insects for bats. Scientists believe that bats can be used for mosquito control, but it might not be possible in the longer run.

There have been a lot of studies on the relation between mosquitoes and bats, and the never-ending connection between them. Scientists believe that a bat can eat a lot of mosquitoes and calculate it to be around 1000 per hour, which could indicate that the said bat will eat more than 10000 mosquitoes in a day and help in pest control. Science says that if a bat eats 10 mosquitoes in a minute, it should continue doing it, but research has found otherwise. After a few minutes or an hour, the bat loses interest in mosquitoes and goes for a different meal or some other insect. Studies by the science department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that wild bats eat more mosquitoes than it was earlier accounted for. These big brown and little brown bats were researched upon with the help of the guano. At least one mosquito was found in all little brown bat sites while 60% were found in big brown bat ones. It was clearly found that big brown bats ate significantly fewer mosquitoes than little brown bats. Bats are also known to feed on a variety of mosquito species. This also includes the mosquitoes which carry the West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is dangerous, so if bats eat more mosquitoes, it might help to control the mosquito problem keeping our health better also.

Mosquitoes are not the only insects bats eat, as they also are known for eating larger insects, such as moths, beetles, and some other flying insects. However, if you want bats to help you reduce the mosquito populations, you can take a few steps we will read about later.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about do beavers eat fish and do carpenter ants have wings here on Kidadl?

Can bats eat mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are really a pest in our lives and to get rid of the mosquito problem is a boon for anyone. Bats eat mosquitoes among many things and bringing populations of bats near your house can reduce mosquitoes.

Bats do eat mosquitoes and there's a bats-mosquitoes myth that says that bats can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes every hour. Scientists say there's evidence and it is quite natural for a bat to eat mosquitoes in this large quantity. After the news came out that bats eat mosquitoes, many homeowners have put bat houses in their yards to attract these animals. People hate bats, but maybe, they hate mosquitoes even more. Bats are known for flying at night eating insects and mosquitoes also venture out at night.

Researchers always take the best-case scenario while publishing a paper which led to many people believing that bats actually help in mosquito control. Yes, they do to some extent not as much as it was earlier believed. A single bat was said to eat at least 10 mosquitoes a minute but steadily stop after that. They actually have an appetite for other insects too, and not just mosquitoes.

Do all bats eat mosquitoes?

Most bat species are known to eat mosquitoes in their natural environments. While some have a species-specific diet, others feed on flying insects of different kinds including mosquitoes.

There are around 1000 species of bats in the world and many bats really don't eat insects at all. Some even have species-related diets that could eat mosquitoes in some cases. Other species are known for eating beetles, cucumber beetles, moths, gnats, and other insect species. The small answer is, some bats help in mosquito control, while others don't. Smaller bats feast on more mosquitoes than larger bat species.

Bats are very smart, they only eat what is available to them. The mosquito population has no plan to evade any bat on their way, and in turn, becomes an easy meal for the bat. However, mosquitoes are too small and bat species might just go for bigger prey for a filler food such as mosquito-sized flies in the habitat at the night. Mosquitoes and flies take up most of the diet of most of the species of bats, however, not enough to control the world population.

Mosquito isolated on green leaf

Bat Species That Can Eat Mosquitoes

As we already have studied, there are many bat species in the world that feed on mosquitoes.

Researchers have helped scientific discovery with research on brown bats eating mosquitos. There are other species too that feed on mosquitoes, but research has been done only on these species. Smaller ones are known to feed more on mosquitoes than large ones.

How many mosquitoes can bats eat?

As research goes, it was revealed that bats can have 1000 mosquitoes in an hour. So if the bats stay awake for 12 hours a day, they should finish about 12000 mosquitoes in a day.

Although this revealed data holds a lot of value, bats are opportunistic and only feed on what is near to them and easy to catch. So it is not necessarily true that they will feed on mosquitoes all day. It was also found that after a few hours in the night, the attention of bats shift to other insects, bigger and better.

Bats have been declining a lot in recent times due to habitat loss. There is a white-nose syndrome in North America that is aggravating this decline in population and is creating a lot of problems in the ecology of the world. It is important to give awareness to your friends and family to care for the environment and save the bat population.

Did you know that there are many ways that you can get help from bats in your yard?

First, eliminate all standing water in the region. Mosquitoes love to breed in those. It is important to attract bats for mosquito control to your property. The best way to attract bats is a bat house. A bat house allows a family of bats, or even a single bat to live, mate, and socialize. Putting up a bat house will help attract those bats along with a water body that has a lot of bugs in it. Seeing the food, bats will surely come to your bat house. These bat houses can bring around 200 bats to your house and it will really help in the summer months.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do bats eat mosquitoes, then why not take a look at do coyotes bark or do bats have tails?

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

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