Did you say bats? Really? Why would I want to attract those creepy little blood suckers to my garden?
This might be your initial reaction to the idea of installing a bat house in your backyard. But, there are many misconceptions about these creatures of the night. Bats actually play a huge role in sustaining the ecosystem and offer multiple benefits for any garden keeper.
Here’s why you should welcome these flying fellows with a bat house.
Let’s get this out of the way: Bats WILL NOT suck your blood! We’ve all heard of Dracula or peeked at the Twilight series, but all the blood and gore associated with bats is not true. They love to feast on harmful insects such as mosquitoes, making them excellent for natural pest control and repellent. Bats can eat up to 1,200 bugs per hour- that’s a lot in one night! Cooler still, insects learn to listen for the sound of bat wings and will leave an area if the predators are present.
Bees are the king pollinators during the day, but at night bats take the crown. While they’re busy swooping about your garden, inhaling pests and sipping flower nector, they are effectively spreading pollen about. They also spread seeds through bat droppings.
Speaking of bat doo doo (or better known as guano), did you know that it is world famous? Guano is one of the best fertilizers for gardens. Not only is it high in nutrients, but contains beneficial bacteria and fungus that balances soil and encourages optimal plant growth.
We don’t think much about bats since we are fast asleep when they come out to work. We see them on TV and in the movies, where they have garnered an unfortunate reputation for being sinister and scary. Bats are actually harmless and stay out of the way. During the day, they will sleep soundly in the bat house you build for them, and only emerge at night.