Can Bats Help Control Mosquitoes?

Knockout Mosquito, the experts in mosquito control, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is often asked about the myth that bats crave a mosquito diet. To clear up any misunderstanding, it is no myth. As unnerving as it may be to have bats flying around your yard, they are mosquito-killing machines. Despite their less-than-desirable reputation, bats possess a remarkable ability to control insects, especially disease-carrying mosquitoes. They also have a talent for pollinating plants and dispersing seeds, thereby promoting biodiversity. In this article, we will explain the role of bats in the mosquito control system, the mosquito consumption rate and the reasons for their declining population.

How Many Mosquitoes Can a Bat Consume in Charleston, South Carolina?

Nearly all bats thrive on an insect diet. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour, and each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night. Their appetite for mosquitoes certainly makes a backyard more comfortable. Bats are opportunistic, and their lack of discretion benefits everyone. Some of their favorite prey include crop-destroying moths, cucumber beetles, flies, and gnats. Natural insect control is their specialty.

Bats’ nocturnal nature has made them a poor subject for study in the past, but a great subject for movies and urban legends. Most of us have seen Dracula and have heard about bats nesting in hair. However, a great deal of progress has been made in the last 20 years in researching nearly a thousand different varieties. It is clear to many people now that bats play an important role in nature and are largely beneficial to humans around the world — their appetite for insects being only one of the services they provide.

Why is the Bat Population Declining in Charleston, South Carolina?

Much of the blame for declining bat populations is caused by humans. The biggest problem for bats is the loss of their natural habitat. Many bats prefer to roost in dead or dying trees under the loose and peeling bark, or in tree cavities. Some prefer to roost in caves or caverns. Populations have dwindled and diversity has suffered without the protection of these important natural roosts.

Several things can be done to create good bat habitat:

1. Leave dead trees on your property if they pose no hazard. They provide homes for bats, as well as for birds and other mammals.

2. Keep your yard as natural as possible. Do not use synthetic pesticides. If you do, mosquito killer sprays only during the day and keep it low to the ground. Plant trees and vines to provide roosting areas for solitary bats that use plants for camouflage during the day.

3. Attract bats by planting herbs and flowers that invite night-flying insects. Flowers such as evening primrose and sweet rocket release scent at night, which attracts insects and gives bats an easy meal. Herbs, such as chives, mint, and marjoram, will also attract insects.

4. Provide a water source. By adding a water garden or backyard pond to your property, you will provide needed water for the colony. It will also benefit from the insects that will live in and around the water.

5. Build a bat house. Properly designed and placed houses provide alternative roosting sites for bats. They also give them a place to live outside of our attics, barns, and garages.

6. Teach others about bats. Talk to friends and family members to let them know bats are not to be feared and provide substantial benefits to people and the environment.

Bats are one of several ravenous insect feeders. However, bats alone cannot completely rid your property of insects…but we can. Our proprietary mosquito misting system will ensure that you and your family will enjoy your yard without fear of harmful chemicals. Contact Knockout Mosquito for a free quote and let our teamwork with yours.

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