Bats in your home can expose you to diseases and must be removed. However, bats play an essential role in the ecosystem, to the point that some consider them a keystone species. Therefore, professional wildlife control services in Milwaukee are essential to avoid harming bats. One of the key roles that bats play in their environment is to pollinate certain plant species.
What Is Pollination?
Pollination is the method by which plants reproduce. The stamen, which is the male portion of the plant, produces pollen. Pollination occurs when the pollen reaches the pistil, which is the female portion of the plant. Since plants are immobile, pollination depends on a go-between to carry the pollen from flower to flower. Animals that feed from flowers and distribute pollen in the process are called pollinators. Along with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, some species of bats serve as pollinators.
How Does a Bat Pollinate Plants?
Some species of bats feed on nectar, a sweet fluid naturally occurring in flowers. Bats’ bodies are covered with fur, and as nectar-eating bats are feeding, some of the pollen gets stuck to the long hairs. A single flower doesn’t have enough nectar to feed a single bat, so bats have to fly from flower to flower to receive sufficient sustenance. Pollen from other flowers gets dislodged from their coats and fertilizes the flower.
What Types of Plants Do Bats Help?
Though bats do not realize it, they are crucial to the survival of certain plants. For example, banana trees depend on bats to pollinate them. Yes, without bats, there would be no bananas. There also would not be balsa, which provides lightweight timber, nor agave, which depends on a particular species of bat to facilitate its reproduction through pollination.
Agave is a succulent plant that grows in Central and South America, as well as the southwestern United States. If you have ever had tequila, you are already familiar with one product derived from agave. However, it has many more uses. Agave syrup is used as a healthier, plant-based substitute for sugar or honey. Agave can also be used in medicines, cosmetics, plant fertilizers, and building materials. It can be used to make biodegradable bags to replace plastic. Agave is a renewable resource as long as the bats keep pollinating them.
While none of these plants live in Milwaukee, you and your family and friends make use of their products on a daily basis. If something happened to the bats that pollinate them, you would feel the negative effects, as would people around the world.
How Else Do Bats Help Plants?
Different bat species eat different things. Some bats feed primarily on fruit. When they eat the fruit, they may swallow the seeds but be unable to digest them. The bats disperse the seeds through their excrement, and sometimes the seeds take root and start growing. Bat guano is full of nutrients and makes a good fertilizer for them.
In Milwaukee, most bat species eat flying insects. Some of these pests feed on agricultural crops. Bats help to keep the populations of these harmful insects under control. It is estimated that bats save billions of dollars by preventing insects from eating crops so that the farmers do not have to use as many pesticides. Fewer pesticides also mean that the crops are safer for people to eat.
Why Do I Need Professional Bat Removal Near Me?
Unfortunately, bats face many threats to their populations, with some species being endangered or threatened. Laws are in place to protect bats and to prevent them from coming to harm either intentionally or unintentionally. Skedaddle’s wildlife technicians are familiar and compliant with the laws protecting bats and can remove them without harming them or causing legal trouble for you. Learn more about our wildlife control services in Milwaukee.