JOPLIN, Mo. — Conservationists say Halloween is the perfect time to learn about a very important animal.

The Joplin Public Library played host to Bats in the Library Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of local kids came to check out the role bats play in our environment – from helping to pollinate trees and plants to controlling pesky insects.

They say, for the kids, it’s a fun way to learn about an animal that can get a bad rep.

“Here in Missouri, all of our bats eat insects, an incredible amount of insects. One bat, on average, can eat up to 600 insects in a single night, so imagine how many mosquitos are suddenly not in the world because you have one bat in your neighborhood,” said Jessie Ballard, Missouri Department of Conservation.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid that doesn’t like bats. Well, other than ones that are scared of bats,” said Kenzie Cook, Student.

After the program, kids got to make their own bat mask to take home.