Considered creepy, bats can be very interesting, helpful

Local News

Halloween is one of those times during the year when bats seem to get some extra attention.

Even though the winged creatures are mostly found during the summer, wildlife experts are using this horrifying holiday to educate the public.

Bats are actually helpful in Nevada.

They lurk in the shadows and inspire fear in hearts of many.

“I think of creepy wings and I think that they could be blood suckers,” said Cathy Short who doesn’t like bats.

Even if they are a decoration staple during Halloween, some people say the winged creatures are wicked.

“If I had them in my yard, I would be very scared, I wouldn’t go out at night,” Short said. “I wouldn’t go out at all!”

This eerie video from a few years ago shows thousands of bats circling around the Luxor light beam. But these frightening flyers aren’t all that bad.

“These are real bats,” said Jess Brookes, wildlife education coordinator, Nevada Department of Wildlife.

And the Department of Wildlife wants to set the record straight.

“Bats are not scary or creepy, they’re extremely fascinating, they’re so interesting,” Brooks said.

Jess Brooks helps educate the public about local animals. Nevada is home to 23 species of bats and he says they get a bad rap because of the many myths surrounding them — like thinking they’re always out to get you.

“When we can’t hear or see something, it’s easy to misunderstand the animal.”

The spooky specimens aren’t just misunderstood. Experts say bats are actually very helpful to the ecosystem in southern Nevada.

HELPING BATS: A look at NDOW bat captures

“They pollinate certain species of fruits and vegetables that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to eat or have on the market,” Brooks said. “Bats eat insects, more so mosquitoes, so if you don’t like mosquitoes, you obviously love bats.”

Love might be stretching it for some. But there’s still an appreciation.

“Well that’s good, if they do that, yeah, mosquitos are the number one bad thing in the world,” Short said. “If they get rid of the mosquitoes, that’s cool.”

A wonder of Nevada wildlife.

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