Those creepy looking creatures that you see flying in the night are not looking to suck your blood. Actually they are looking for food and will happily eat every insect in sight. What a concept. A night worker who can keep the peace in your garden can really be beneficial to you. I had no idea that bats could be such an asset to gardens until now. Every time I would see one I would run in the opposite direction, now I will think positive thoughts and keep them nearby. Who knew garden bats could be a gardener’s best friend?
What can bats do for your garden?
Well we all know that gardens will have pests that will devour our leafy vegetables, and some that we can’t even see because they only come out at night. Bats are our salvation because they come out at night and feed. Some plants even depend on bats for pollination or to spread their seeds. Can you believe that? Flowering trees such as mango, guava, banana, and over 500 more plant species rely on bats for pollination called chiropterophily. Just as they help these plants they also rely on them as well to survive.
Helping them stay around
Bats need food and shelter like most of us, so if you want bats to help keep your garden free of pests, you should do what is necessary to keep them around. They eat insects that are attracted to sweet smelling plants like evening primrose, honeysuckle, lemon balm, mint, and many more. My grandmother always had mint and honeysuckle in various places near the garden. I never knew why until now. These plants will keep a study food supply around for the bats at night.
Now for a place to stay, they like big trees or places with cracks that they can rest upon. I found one outside my window one night, just hanging from my window pane. It was very creepy, so I took a picture. The flash didn’t scare it off so I took several. Watching it through the glass was quite amazing. If your home has eaves they may choose to roost there. Some good places for bats are climbing vine plants like Ivy, apple trees, hedges, gaps in stones or trees, or you can put a bat box in your garden.
Don’t be scared
Some people are really scared of bats because they think they will get bitten like a vampire. Believe it or not bats are more closely related to humans than mice. Do your research and see which species of bat is located in your local area, and then you will know what to expect. There are over 1000 species and they can be the size of a bee to the size of a fox. Hopefully you don’t live in the area that has the fox size bats. Good luck with that.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com
Have you spotted little garden bats in your backyard?