European Bat Night is an annual event which takes place every 25th of August. It’s been a growing annual event, begun in the 90s to help bring people’s awareness to the problem of the threatened population of bats in Europe.
In our region, Trentino-Alto Adige, the public administration has only fairly recently taken into consideration the placing of bird and bat houses to help repopulate our area. Why? Because we’d been invaded by a most pernicious clandestine immigrant, the tiger mosquito in 2009!
Birds and bats are a great way of keeping down the Bats particularly indicated for evening/night) insect population…and when the tiger made its appearance (they may have been coming over sooner but the heating of our climate here has given them a happy breeding ground near lakes and rivers), everyone knew that something had to be done.
All around my area, we now see trees decorated with various examples of bird and bat houses.
Bastet is particularly sensitive to the problems of bats. You may say…she’s a cat and therefore a rodent chaser, and you would be correct, though she says the pesky things fly too high for her.
No, the reason is a sort of solidarity to the bat due to the terrible bad press these poor creatures have had throughout the centuries, similar to the persecutions of the cat. People were taught by the Church that bats and cats were creatures from hell, emissaries of the Devil etc. They were persecuted throughout the centuries, rounded up, put into bags and drowned, burnt at the stake in boxes and we could go on. If you want to make a little research into the persecution of cats…the Internet is full of resources. Bats didn’t fare much better, but usually stayed away from cities.
Bram Stoker with his brilliant best-selling “Dracula” added another nail to an already heavily laden coffin. The popularity of this particular character added to the induced fear and revulsion to the bat, and has re-inforced one of the hardest prejudices to dispel.
However, as with the cat, whose persecution has been attributed to having favoured the proliferation of the plaque, killing off bats aids and abed the insurgence of harmful insects, the night insects, mosquitos (although the tiger also flies during the day ergo the birds). Bats eat insects and fruit…they don’t suck people’s blood…mosquitos do!