Bats are fascinating creatures. They are the only mammal capable of true flight, and they use sonar (echolocation) to navigate through their environment and capture prey. All bats that occur in Indiana are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. A bat feeding on beetles, mosquitoes and moths can eat half of its body weight each night, an attribute that makes them extremely beneficial to humans. Many insects eaten by bats are harmful agricultural and forest pests. It is estimated that the economic impact to the agricultural industry due to the loss of insect-eating bats in North America could exceed $3.7 billion per year.
Thirteen bat species have been documented in Indiana. Six species primarily use underground sites such as caves, mines, or tunnels to hibernate in winter. They use caves, trees and/or other structures for summer roosts. Four species are found in Indiana either during the summer reproductive season or spring and fall migration. The remaining three species are exceedingly rare in Indiana; the few records for these species are from caves during winter hibernation.