Going Batty!

Today being Earth Day I thought that I would write-up a little earth friendly post.  As it turns out being green is not only the right thing to do for the earth, but it also helps save the average home owner a ton of money in the process.

For example, most people now recycle a good portion of their weekly household trash or compost.  Another money-saving idea would be to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs in the home.  I know in our household those two simple moves have saved us a significant amount of money over the last year.

Living in Manitoba also has its own outdoor challenges when it comes to enjoying an evening in the back yard with friends.  The number one pest that comes to mind is the Mosquito.  Manitoba is famous for the swarms of biting insects that infest the evening sky during wet summer months.

Many people of course turn to a chemical solution to enjoy a few peaceful hours outdoors during the twilight hours.  Spraying or burning noxious agents to keep the pesky hordes at bay.

It turns out however that there is an earth friendly alternative to poisonous chemicals.  A little winged creature that undoubtedly already lives near your home.  Tucked into a wooded thicket or garage eve live the most common bat species native to North America.  The little brown bat being the most common here in Manitoba and the Northern United States.

Bats are of course nocturnal and also have the benefit of being voracious consumers of flying insects.  Bats however have a number of stigma attached to them that unfairly brands them as a pest species or as harmful to humans.  For instance the old wives tale of bats being attracted to women’s hair is false.  Bats want nothing to do with us, we are not a prey species and in-fact pose a threat to them based on our size.  Bats have also been branded as carriers of rabies.  According to the Fort Whyte Centre here in Winnipeg people have a higher chance of catching rabies from a domesticated animal than catching it from a bat.

So how does the average homeowner take advantage of this free and environmentally sound method of pest control?  Well one good idea would be to build a bat box.  A simple roost for your flying friends similar to a bird house.  A suitable backyard home will attract the bats and give them a reason to start eating the bugs in your backyard first.

Just think of it.  A single bat, when feeding can eat up to 1000 insects an hour! A small family of hungry bats should be able to put a significant dent in your backyard pest problem.  All for just the cost of a few sheets of plywood and a handful of screws!

Can you imagine the envious looks on your guests faces when they learn they can talk  for hours without furiously slapping or waving madly at the air trying to fend off swarms of bugs?  You can sit there and explain to them it was all courtesy of your newly found friend the little brown bat.

Little Brown Bat

6 responses to “Going Batty!

  1. I have three bat houses and am hoping to get more. We also vermicompost – we’ve been living with about 300 worms under our kitchen table for the last year. They eat all our kitchen scraps since our two composters are full (and fill quickly in the winter when it freezes). I will be collecting their poop soon, and use it to fertilize my garden!

    Happy Earth Day!

    • Way to go Darla!!! Long Time, No See!!

      It just goes to show that we humans don’t always have to take a brute force approach to everything we do.
      Natures little helpers are always willing to help out in ways that are good for THEM and US. 🙂

      If everyone had your spirit the Earth would be a much happier place indeed.

  2. Brilliant! For some reason, never thought of it here in the city, used to have lots of bats in the cottage, though! And pretty much left them to their own little thing. The Spiders, I could have lived without, but they are also natural bug-icides.

  3. Ahh the spiders at the lake, who could have forgotten about those little friends. Big as houses some of those little buggers!! Scare the living crap out of you when they hide in your shoes.

    Bat’s however are just another way to control the urban bug population, who would have thought it eh??

    Thanks for the comment Sue, keep reading. 🙂

  4. I love bats! They’re so awesome!