Rainy weather brings bats, bugs to the valley - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rainy weather brings bats, bugs to the valley

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Following the rain that pounded the Las Vegas valley the past few weeks, plenty of folks are noticing more bugs in and around their homes.

The bugs, in turn, are attracting bats in some neighborhoods around the edges of town.

When bugs buzz around street lamps, for instance, the bats swoop in for a meal.

"(I was walking) down the street with a friend of mine. All of a sudden the bats are flying around. I'm not saying anything. Then, all of a sudden, one knocks me in my head," said homeowner and FOX5 employee Nicci Pucci.

Western Exterminators' Grady Jones said the increase in bugs and bats is no coincidence.

"(With) the rain… especially the mosquitoes are common food for bats. They're breeding now, (in) ponds of water, pools of water. (We have a) subtropical environment right now. We still have warmth, but a lot of rain so lots of bugs," Jones said.

Jones said Nevada is home to 23 species of bats, or about half the species in the United States. They're nocturnal animals that like to hide in dark spots during the daytime, sometimes in attics.

Despite their small size, bats eat about 600 bugs an hour. That's about half their weight in one night.

"A single colony can eat 250 tons of bugs in one night," Jones said.

Jones warned you can expect the bats to hang around until the weather starts to change.

"If we're really done with the moisture, then you're gonna see the bug population rise for a minute. All these bugs - water runs out and they freak out and come in homes. So you'll see more bugs, then it will start to decline," Jones said.

Jones said that only about half a percent of bats carry rabies and that they tend to stay away from people.

If you see a bat lying on the ground, you should step away from it and call an exterminator or animal control. There is a chance it could have rabies and attack you.

Jones said about half the bats in the world are endangered. They serve a purpose in our ecosystem, pollinating and controlling insect populations.

Another tidbit: Many people think bats are blind but in fact they see quite well.

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