Perhaps you like bats. Perhaps you don’t. Whether you want to attract or repel these nocturnal fliers, your yard and its features can do that job for you. Bats and humans have a few things in common. Bats look for a nice home, ample food, and serene surroundings.
A Place to Call Home
Bats look for a nice place to live. Smaller bats who eat insects favour cool, dark spots like caves and hollow trees. Bats believe in community, so they live closely crowded together. The shared body heat helps keep them warm and toasty. They enjoy enclosed spaces. If you do want bats, you can build a bat house, similar to a bird house, but bigger. Larger bat species (like flying foxes and fruit bats) roost in great numbers in forests or heavily wooded areas.
A Neverending Buffet
Smaller bats that live in temperate areas hunt flying insects by night. They use echolocation (basically a built in radar) to find their food. If you have a yard teeming with insects, you probably have bats visiting your yard. Larger bats that live in tropical areas eat a raw, vegan diet of fruit and nectar. They cover huge areas of land during the course of a year looking for flowering plants or ripening fruits. If you have a great number of wild flowers, garden plots, or an orchard, you may draw bats to your yard.
Just like humans, bats want something with which to wash down their meal. They can dehydrate quickly, losing 50 percent of their body weight from water loss in a single day. If you have a pond on your land, bats will enjoy the natural water source. If not, they also find birdbaths and fountains attractive.
A Little Quiet to Think
The echolocation smaller bats use to find food requires relative quiet. If you have a noisy yard or neighborhood, bats will likely avoid your yard since it is not conducive to passive listening. Serene surroundings draw bats in droves.
Batty or Not?
Now that you know what attracts bats to your yard, you can decide if you want them there. Here are a few pros and cons:
- Bats love mosquitoes. A colony of bats – about 75 – eats about 75,000 bugs per hour. North American bats love mosquitoes. One little bat munches about 1,000 mosquitoes per hour.
- Bat guano (excrement), makes an amazing nutrient-rich natural fertilizer for a garden.
- While hunting, bats can be noisy neighbors. They emit sounds that bounce back.
- All that guano gets a bit smelly.
Perhaps you have a happy family of bats ridding your yard of mosquitoes and you love them. If you’d rather not attract these night fliers, call Liddle Rascals Wildlife Control at (416) 356-5886. We’ll humanely remove any bat residents from your property and relocate them.