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Bats – Nature’s Pest Controller

Paper silhouettes of bats mounted on the wall, carved into pumpkins or hanging from the ceiling are a common sight around Halloween. But they really should be considered a good friend to gardeners.

Most North American bats only eat insects. As night feeders their diet consists mainly of moths and mosquitoes. But they also eat gnats and larger beetles. A colony of bats can eat as much as 100 tons of insects in a season.

Invite bats into your landscape by supplementing their food source, insects, with water and shelter.

A pond with an opening for the bat’s to swoop down for a drink or an elevated bird bath can provide a good source of water.

Consider buying or building a bat house for your yard. Visit the Bat Conservation International website at www.batcon.org for plans. Fasten the house on the south side of a pole about 12 to 18 feet above the ground.

A bit more information: Some bat species eat fruit and nectar. They help in pollination and seed dispersal of some of our native plants. For more information on creating a healthy yard for bats, bees, birds and butterflies click here.