Mind-Boggling Bats - Letter

I found the lead article in this week’s Mashpee Enterprise, “It’s The Season To Keep An Eye Out For Bats In Your Home,” truly terrifying. The article quotes Ms. Emily Stolarski of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife as saying that a single big brown bat will eat 14 to 15 tons of insects in a summer. According to Wikipedia, a big brown bat weighs five-eighths of an ounce and eats about one-third of its body weight per night. If the bat is actively feeding for about eight hours per night for the roughly 91 days of summer, 14 tons of insects amounts to almost 40 pounds of insects per hour. That means that the bat would consume 61 times its body weight in an hour. The thought of a bat whizzing about, excreting almost 40 pounds per hour of guano is truly mind boggling. Perhaps Ms. Stolarski was thinking of a really big, really huge brown bat.

David P. Bloomfield
Cedar Street


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