ATTRACTING BENEFICIAL BATS TO YOUR BACKYARD
The more you vary your habitat, the greater the number and diversity of wildlife you will attract. We all know how important bats are for eating pesky insects (one bat can consume over 3,000 flying insects in one night!). Here are some tips on helping to attract and keep them in your own backyard.
Water attracts insects; insects attract bats. A dependable water source is one of the best ways to attract bats and other beneficial wildlife to your yard.
Planting trees and leaving dead and dying trees standing are wonderful ways to encourage bats to live in your area. You can help bats by providing housing, not disturbing them in their roosting spots, and avoiding man made insecticides. Click on the picture at the lower left to learn about bat shelters and how to place them in your own backyard.
Bat Conservation International also has some great information on successful bat houses.
Bat gardens are another good provider of insects and roosting sites for bats. Flowers that release scent at night, such as sweet rocket, evening primrose, nicotiana and soapwort, attract flying insects, which in turn attract bats. Herbs such as chives, borage, mint, marjoram and lemon balm also attract night-flying insects. If possible, leave part of your lawn unmowed during the summer months. This will increase insects whose larvae feed on grasses. Climbing vines such as honeysuckle, ivy, white jasmine or dogrose will provide roosting sites for solitary bats.
Mercury vapor lights in your backyard will attract insects, and bats will enjoy these easy meals!
SAY NO TO CHEMICALS
Avoid using pesticides, herbicides or other toxic chemicals in your yard. Insectivorous bats consume large quantities of insects, if they are sprayed with toxic substances, the bats will ingest them and become ill or die.
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