Seriously, we do need more bats. Today my husband and I attended a lecture on living with wildlife presented by a certified wildlife rescuer and organized by our local county extension office. My thinking regarding "pests" beforehand morphed into a new found respect and a desire to learn more about our eco-system. I knew there was a rhyme and reason to Mother Nature’s food chain but never dwelled on it. For instance, bats, as everyone knows, eat mosquitoes. I was totally unaware that the bat population is dwindling to a dangerous low. We were sitting in a crowded room in the back of an old mercantile building, with skunks (I kid you not) in the crawl space of this old structure. ( Skunks, I might add, are docile creatures, another enlightenment of the day.) The lecturer asked for more questions, and I heard an old gruffy voice, "How d’ya git rid of bats in attics? There’s droppins all over the floor." I thought, "ye-e-u-w." The expert was quick to point out that we do not want to get rid of them but rather find a way to prevent them from entering the attic. In other words, get them back outside. Mosquitoes are carriers of the West Nile virus and many other illness producing viruses, and the human population is in grave danger if we ever lose the bat. I am sickened as I remember years ago my mother wildly swinging a broom at a bat and trying to pound the life out of it, just because it was in the house. The lecture lasted for 3 1/2 hours and covered a vast array of animals, large and small.
There is just too much information to fit in this post, but I can add that the cottontail rabbit is one of three animals that can be relocated legally, but not without detriment to the animal. In fact, I did witness a couple of weeks ago a fight between two rabbits in our back yard, while Maddie screamed and ran towards our house. It appeared that one of the rabbits was not welcomed. I wonder if someone relocated the strange rabbit to our property? My husband and I both agreed on the way home, there will be no relocation for Maddie.