It’s hard to think of Halloween without thinking of dark and creepy animals – most of all vampire bats! Why are bats associated with Halloween? Well, long ago, people feared these mysterious creatures to be evil spirits. And the fear continues, mostly because people don’t know much about them. What we do know – they hang out in caves and dark spaces (upside down at that!), they fly but don’t look like birds, and they come out at night – is all kind of spooky!
But the real scary thing about bats? They’re disappearing. Many bats are dying due to something called white-nose syndrome. It’s a fungal disease scientists are having a hard time understanding. It leaves bats covered in a white cloud of fungus – and it’s deadly. White-nose syndrome is also deadly serious for us, because bats are one of nature’s best ways of controlling the insect population. And every bat that dies means hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes and other insects that won’t be eaten, but will now take a bite out of us. That’s really scary.
So this Halloween, don’t be scared of bats, just be glad we’ve got them!