It is normal to be a little wary of the unknown. At Central Plains Bat Removal, we like all types of bats. By now, the types of bats you are likely seeing on your South Dakota property are old friends. We would love to meet your new neighbors! Give Central Plains Bat Removal a call, and we’ll show them a more suitable place to call home.
You may have had an up-close encounter with bats on your property, but chances are it’s not so easy to tell exactly what kind of bat you are looking at. In the area around Sioux Falls, you are most likely seeing a Big Brown Bat or a Little Brown Myotis bat.
Big Brown Bat
The Big Brown bat is one of the two main types of bats you may be seeing on your property in South Dakota. Even though they are big for being classified as a microbat, they weigh less than 1 ounce. They pack a big punch in that ounce, though, with a wingspan of about a foot in length.
Helping Crops Survive
Big Brown bats live on a steady diet of insects, many of which are considered pests to humans. In fact, farmers will often build bat houses in hopes to attract these friendly neighbors to their property. This type of bat specifically loves cucumber beetles, which can cause major damage to corn crops.
Small by Mighty
While some bats struggle with white-nose syndrome, a disease currently causing numbers to decline in many bat species, the big brown bat is resistant to the disease. They also adapt well to habitat changes brought on by human behavior, which is why they are commonly found in the shelters that exist here because we do.
Little Brown Myotis Bats
Little brown myotis are the other type of bat commonly found in South Dakota. It sounds like they might be related to the big brown bat, but they actually are not. They are a mouse-eared microbat more closely related to the Arizona myotis and the Indiana bat. They are also a much smaller type of bat, weighing about .2-.44 ounces, with wingspans of about 3 inches.
Let them Eat Insects!
Our favorite characteristic of little brown bats is their love for Mosquitos. According to the South Dakota Bat Working Group Wildlife Division Report they seem to play a major role in keeping insect pest numbers down. This type of bat can consume up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour!
Sharing the Bat Cave…or Attic
Little brown bats are a colonizing bat, unlike the big brown bat, which is solitary or found in very small colonies. Little brown bat colonies are usually about 9,000 individuals, but scientists have studied colonies as large as 183,500.
Their colonizing habit causes them to share more than just shelter and warmth, however. It seems to be the reason they are more susceptible to disease than the big brown bat. Before white-nose syndrome appeared in New York in 2006, only 1% of little brown bats hibernated individually. Now that number has increased to about 44.5%.
They Help Us, Let’s Help Them
As recently as 2008 the International Union for Conservation of Nature considered the little brown myotis a thriving bat species. But the mysterious white-nose syndrome has placed this type of bat on the endangered species list since 2018.
It is declining in number from 6.5 million, and may fall to just 65,000 because of white-nose syndrome. Just one more reason to let Central Plains Bat Removal help you safely remove your bats. We would love this insect loving friend to once again thrive in South Dakota.
Other South Dakota Bat Residents
South Dakota is home to twelve species of bats, six of which are mouse-eared bats of the genus Myotis like the little brown bat.
All of South Dakota’s bats have dark brown wings and short brown fur. This can make it difficult for the average bat landlord to distinguish which kind of bat has called their attic or barn home.
Bats in South Dakota:
- Have a steady diet of insects. Thank you bats!
- Use echolocation as a navigational system
- Can all see and smell, but not very well
- Smell is only really important to bats for social communication with one another
Bat species found in South Dakota
(According to the South Dakota Working Group Bat Management Plan):
- Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)
- Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
- Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis) – Migratory
- Fringed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes)
- Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) – Summer resident
- Long-eared (Myotis Myotis evotis)
- Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans)
- Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)
- Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) – Summer resident
- Townsend’s Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)
- Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum)
Water is Key
Bats are especially susceptible to dehydration because of the large evaporation surfaces on their wings. They like to live and hunt near water. They can drink water by flying to the surface of a body of water and taking a gulp mid-flight!
You Won’t Find Vampire Bats in South Dakota
Let’s just get one thing off the table: you won’t be seeing vampire bats in your South Dakota home. They prefer warm, tropical climates and won’t be heading our way at all. According to National Geographic, they live mostly in the tropics of South America, Central America, and Mexico.
Even though they are not nearby, they may still be benefiting you one day. Scientists are studying an anticoagulant protein they have that could mean big things in the world of beneficial medication for humans and other animals. It has already helped save lives!
Give Us a Call
Now that you have learned a bit about the bats that live in South Dakota, you may decide you like them as much as we do! Even more reason to give Central Plains Bat Removal a call. Let’s help the bat population in South Dakota thrive – in a more appropriate home.