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The benefits of bats and birds

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  The benefits of bats and birds

While some may scoff, bats have benefits.  You may not feel that way as you battle one inside your bedroom, however, before killing it, capture it and set it free.  Then look for the place in the bats are coming in and seal it up!

Is this you????

Is this you????

Take a look at this site, eXtension, to find great information on finding the bat in your house and how to release them.

Bats won’t suck your blood, but most North American species do prefer to dine on insect pests, particularly bloodsucking mosquitoes.  A single bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects every hour, usually eating 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night.  One bat house can hold 25 bats. That’s more than 150,000 insects eaten every night!  How awesome is that!  While the zika virus isn’t here in our northern climes, still, having a mosquito eating machine sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

bat-upside-down

How about building a bat house.  Here’s a link Free.Woodworking-Plans to several free plans on building one.  Give them a home of their own!  And another site:  Endangered Species Coalition

bat-house

Oh and there’s another benefit, they’re great nighttime pollinators for your garden.  Since bats are threatened with extinction, adding them to your garden is good environmental stewardship.  While bats eat thousands of mosquitoes, many birds will eat mosquitoes, too.

Other voracious ‘squiter eaters:

  • barn swallows
  • purple martins
  • robins
  • chickadees
  • nuthatches
  • woodpeckers
  • mockingbirds
Purple martins breed during the summer months in much of the country

Purple martins breed during the summer months in much of the country

Attract more bug eaters by installing bird houses, filling feeders with a variety of seed, supplying a clean source of water and planting flowers and trees that supply food and shelter.  And stop using chemicals.  Hmmm, great gift ideas!

 

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