Being bugged by pesky mosquitos or moths? Want some help reducing their numbers?  Encourage bats to hang around!  Often having the undeserved reputation of nighttime villain, these furry, winged mammals are beneficial to the environment. They consume huge numbers of night-flying insects, pollinate plants and disperse seeds. As long as they’re not roosting under your roof, it’s a good thing to have them flitting about your garden while you sleep.

While not likely to win awards for cuteness, these shy, gentle and intelligent little creatures have a flexible wing structure is very much like a human arm and hand. They can see just fine, though their dominant navigational method, like dolphins, is echolocation, sending out beeps and analyzing the echoes that come bouncing back. With this finely honed ability, they can detect obstacles as fine as a human hair in total darkness. 

More than two-thirds of bat species consume night-time insects like moths, gnats, beetles, and crickets. A single little brown bat can eat up to a thousand mosquito-sized insects in a single hour while a nursing mother will devour the equivalent of her body weight each night.

Insect-eating bats roost in tree foliage and cavities, under loose bark and in caves and crevices. As their natural habitats continue to disappear, more species are taking up residence in buildings and homes. Mounting a bat house on your property is one way to provide a safe place for them to live while protecting your garden from night-flying insects.

Bats are also important pollinators – over 300 species of fruit depend on bats for pollination. Bats help spread seeds for nuts, figs and cacao — the main ingredient in chocolate!

Some summer evening find a spot in the garden right after sunset, and for the next hour, watch for these shy little critters swooping about in search of a meal. With a little information and understanding, you can protect a piece of their habitat right in your own back yard and reap the benefits.

Enjoy some amazing facts about bats

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