What to know about Houston's bats

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You may see bats flying around at night, but don't be alarmed. They're actually doing humans a great service.

More than 1,100 species of bats have been discovered worldwide. Texas is home to 33 species of bats. Greater Houston is home to 11 bat species.

Luckily, all bat species that live in Houston are insect-eaters.

Bats are not blind. They have average vision, excellent hearing, and echolocation. They find their insect prey using echolocation, which is the use of ultra-high frequency sounds.

Contrary to popular belief, because they can sense objects in front of them so well, they do not get tangled in people's hair.

Bats are important for pest control since they eat insects and pests. Here in Houston, the estimated 100 million Mexican free-tailed bats at Waugh Drive could consume almost 2.5 tons of insects a night.

Bat Conservation International says that less than 1 percent of a bat population may contract rabies. However, you still do not want to touch a bat as it may bite in self-defense.

For more information visit Houston's Park and Recreation.

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