Are you a fan of bats? Or are you in the camp that believes they are just flying rodents that freak people out?

Before you discount bats as just icky flying freaks, think about what they do for us. Bats are not only the only mammals that can fly and play a critical role in helping control South Dakota's mosquito population.

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A single backyard bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitos and mosquito-sized insects every hour that adds up to about 6,000 to 8,000 insects every night. That's a big deal!

You can find out more about our pest-eating friends this week at Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus. International Bat Appreciation Day is this Saturday, April 17 and the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus is celebrating by so hosting a virtual event you can be a part of on Thursday, April 15 at 7 pm.

Wildlife Biologist Silka Kempema will talk about the 13 different types of insect-eating bats that call South Dakota home.

Learn about safe bat removal options and other fun bat stuff. The event is recommended for ages 5 and up. You do need to sign up but it's absolutely free. Here are the ways you can get signed up or get more information about the Battastic event.

1. Registering online at gfp.sd.gov/toc-east/ (preferred)
2. Call 605-362-2777
3. Email sandy.richter@state.sd.us
They will email the Zoom code to you on the day of the event.
*This class will be held online only