Bats as neighbors
- Do you ever see bats in the city?
- Why should I care if we have bats or not?
- How are bats good for my garden?
- How can I make sure bats will stay around my house?
- I would like to have a bat for a pet. How do I go about it?
Do you ever see bats in the city?
Absolutely! Bats find roosts in attics, hollow trees, bridges, parking garages, out buildings and other such structures. Hunting can be very good in the city because lights attract insects. And lakes and ponds in parks provide water. Back to Top
Why should I care if we have bats or not?
Bats are critical to the ecosystems they live in. Here in the Pacific Northwest they consume so many insects that, if they suddenly disappeared, it would cost billions of dollars in pesticides to do the same job. But the result would be massive amounts of poison added to our environment. Bats are the major predator of night-flying insects. These insects include many that are pest species to us, to our gardens, and to the agriculture and forestry industries. Back to Top
How are bats good for my garden?
Our bats eat many insects that normally feed on plants such as moths, flies and beetles. Additionally, their droppings, or "guano" is one of the world's best fertilizers. Bats are part of a healthy ecosystem. Back to Top
How can I make sure bats will stay around my house?
Bats are wild animals, with minds of their own, so there are no guarantees. But there are things you can do to create a good "bat environment". You can provide homes (bat houses), water (ponds), or food (plants or lights that attract night-flying insects). Night blooming plants such as salvia, silene, phlox, stock, spearmint, cornflower, four-o'clocks, moonflower and nicotania attract insects at night. Lights in gardens and on porches attract insects. Some people use lights with solar batteries to save electricity. Back to Top
I would like to have a bat for a pet. How do I go about it?
Bats make very poor pets. They are exceedingly delicate creatures that should not be handled. They spend most of their time asleep unless they are foraging. Our native bats eat only insects, up to 1.25 times their body weight every night! So it is very difficult to provide them with a nutritious diet. In addition, it is illegal because there is no rabies vaccine for them the way there is for your dogs and cats. The best pets are animals that are domesticated, a process that takes thousands of years, but results in animals that can live happily with humans. Back to Top