You Could See 9 Different Species Of Bats In Iowa
I decided to write this story after we found out we had a bat problem in our house. We found this little guy in our house last night.
He looked cute, but when those wings open it's a bit scary. We got him to fly away outside, but I assume this won't be the end of our bat problem. We most likely will need to call a professional. Now let's stop focusing on the bats in my house and focus on how many bats are in Iowa.
Types Of Bats In Iowa
According to the DNR, there are 9 types of bats in Iowa. Let's start with the most common bats to see in Iowa.
Little brown bat (Myotis lucifigus)
A little brown bat can reportedly eat up to 600 tiny insects, like the mosquito, in an hour.
Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus).
A big brown bat usally eats larger bugs like the moths and beetles that cause crop damage.
Clearly, these bats do a lot of good.
Like all of the bats in Iowa, they are insectivores and are critical for keeping Iowa’s insect populations in check. It is estimated that bats provide corn farmers the equivalent of $1 billion in free pest control.
I'm assuming the bat in my house was one of those two. Other bats seen in Iowa include:
Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)
Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
Eastern pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus)
Evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
Eastern red bat
Sadly many of these bats face new troubles with their environment being disturbed, wind energy development, and white-nose syndrome (WNS). The DNR reports,
The Indiana and Northern Long-eared bat are additionally listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
How To Help Bats In Iowa
The best thing you can do to protect bats is maintain and increase healthy forests with an open canopy structure. Bats will use forests of all shapes and sizes from rural forest fragments to small city parks
Another option is one I might try to get any bats out of my house is the option of building a bat house. There are also opportunities to volunteer as a citizen scientist to help monitor bats. Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form at www.iowadnr.gov/vwmp/.
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