Saturday, 14 September 2013

Bats: The importance of nature’s pest controllers

http://www.wildaboutdevon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/brown-long-eared-bat.jpgPests like insects and other kinds of bugs cause a lot of damage to crops and using insecticides can be dangerous to humans and the environment. Bats are natures Pest Controllers

However, there are pest controllers that exist in nature that are a great help to farmers and others who grow crops. One of these is the bat, which is nature’s only mammal that can fly.

Bats live in places like barns, caves, or attic spaces and some people even put up special bat houses to attract them so as to help get rid of pests around their home. You can buy these from local feed supply stores or from nature supply stores or online.

Bats are Beneficial to Humans

Some people see bats as a pest, but actually most bats are very beneficial. Bats will eat thousands of bugs and insects every night and especially love mosquitoes, which as most people know can carry dangerous diseases. They eat about one third of their body weight in insects every night. Bat are also known to eat things like moths, termites, ants, flies, stink bugs, assassin bugs, dragonflies and more.

Farmers should rejoice when they see bats, as it has been proven, for instance, that they are a cost saver, as well as saving the environment from contamination from insect poisons.  In one case, a farmer saved nearly a third of his crop from being destroyed by shuck worms because he put up lots of bat houses to attract the bats into his peach orchard.

Bats are capable of tracking their prey using sonar and some can move similar to a helicopter to hover and grab insects, while others dive onto their prey like jet bombers at high speeds.

Bats Drive Insects Out of the Area

Bats have also been known to cause insects and bugs to be frightened out of the area with their sonar. For instance, research shows that moth larvae recognize the sonar from bats and worms like cutworms, army worms and boll worms quickly leave the area if they hear bat sounds.
Another plus is that bats eat mostly the type of insects and other pests that are a threat to crops, not those that help farmers. This is due to the fact that many of the beneficial insects forage in the daytime when bats are sleeping, or they are scared away when they hear bat sonar.

Bats Get a Bad Rap   

Many people are scared of bats and relate them to things like vampires or rabies or think they will get tangled up in their hair. While it is true that bats can carry rabies, it isn’t true that all bats automatically should be killed due to this threat. Humans should not pick up a bat they find on the ground or in the home, but they are actually a very beneficial creature that farmers should encourage to live near them in order to control pests more naturally and not have to use as much or any insecticides.