Pest Identification: Bats

According to the Massachusetts Homeowner’s Guide to Bats, bats in the state are protected by law and can only be killed or captured under specific circumstances, such as posing a risk to public health or damaging property. Attempts to evict bat colonies are restricted to early Spring, May, and from August 1st to mid-October to avoid harming the bats during crucial periods. 

The timing is based on important phases in the bats' yearly cycle. In May, bats come out of hibernation, but it's not yet time for them to return to the roost to have pups. From August to October, bat pups are old enough to fly and leave the roost. Evicting bats at other times could lead to their unnecessary death. 

Bats play a crucial role in ecosystems and benefit humans in various ways, including pollination, reseeding, and pest control. They pollinate plants by transferring pollen as they drink nectar, contribute to reseeding by excreting undigested seeds, and act as natural pest control by feeding on disease-carrying and crop-damaging insects. The guide emphasizes the importance of bats in preventing disease and supporting ecosystems. 

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