Today is Halloween and images of bats are everywhere. Just like the real thing. Bats are especially plentiful where there is water and warm weather. Bats are migratory creatures and need long stretches of land to hunt for insects. Development fragments their habitat making it difficult to be able to hunt and roost.
Bats consume large qualities of insects, especially mosquitos. Others feast on fruit. Although none of the local bats go for blood meals, it is best to keep your distance. Bats may harbor diseases such as the rabies virus. Bats generally avoid human contact, but if frightened they could gnash out with those choppers. So, if you see a bat on the ground do not touch it. You could catch a disease.
Bats are mostly invisible because they are inactive during the day. The best time to see them is at dusk, when they come alive and go out to hunt flying insects. You can see a variety of bats locally at Lake Merced, Fort Funston and Golden Gate Park. Among the types of bats would find in San Francisco are: California myotis, Yuma myotis, little brown, fringed myotis, big brown, silver-haired, red, hoary and Mexican free-tailed.
A few years ago, bats established themselves in the tile roofing of the Crystal Springs San Andreas Pump Station on the Peninsula. The accompanying pictures show the effort to remove them and repair any damage to the structure.