When one town in Long Island, New York wondered if bats could reduce the population of flying insects, they certainly weren’t thinking about baseball bats. The New York Times described the way that North Hempstead constructed several bat houses in local parks to make them more hospitable to the small, flying mammals. In fact, the town began this project just about a decade ago as an alternative to traditional pest control. Since then, they have been progressively adding more bat houses each year. Today, with mounting concerns over the problems created by flying insects around homes and businesses, it’s worth looking into the advantages of taking such a creative approach to reducing insect populations.
Can Bats Help Reduce Flying Insect Populations?
The little brown bat, one of the two most common bats in New England, will eat about 50% of its body weight in flying insects each night. They typically consume all they’re going to eat in an evening within the first hour of waking.
There are plenty of good reasons for other towns and cities to take notice of the creative solutions that North Hempstead employed, including the fact that bats are currently threatened by disease in the U.S. and their numbers are dropping.
Bats Contribute to the Ecosystem
Some kinds of bats do help control insect pests. Other species serve as natural pollinators, much like bees do. In a natural environment, the kinds of bats that live in Massachusetts and New Hampshire would find habitats in old trees. However, in an urban area, old trees tend to get cut down, so bats may seek shelter in people’s homes. The bat houses can help attract these flying creatures to an appropriate type of shelter and may keep them out of residences. In other words, the town’s efforts give the bats an alternative place to roost.
Bats Rarely Hurt People
The type of bats that inhabit this area don’t bite people or animals to suck blood. The Humane Society also reports that the chance of finding a bat with rabies is less than one-half of one percent. However, due to the high mortality rate of rabies, anybody who does get bitten by a bat should contact their doctor promptly for advice and treatment.
Bat Houses Make Great Community Projects
Since North Hempstead started their bat project, lots of community organizations have contributed bat houses to local parks. For example, troops of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have helped to raise funds and construct the actual dwellings in order to earn badges or promotions. These kinds of projects help local residents contribute to the town, learn about endangered bats, and appreciate their natural environment.
Should Your Town Have More Bat Houses?
There are plenty of reasons to consider adding bat houses to natural areas in your town. They may encourage the flying mammals to take up residence in approved housing and not in attics. At the same time, the habitats help keep populations of these useful animals around, so they can help reduce the population of flying insects. Building bat houses can also be an excellent educational project for young minds within New England communities.
Trust us for Safe and Innovative Solutions to Your Pest Control Problems
At Colonial Pest Control, our certified pest control specialists can provide you with the best solution to your problems with invasive insects, rodents, and other kinds of pests. Not only will we promptly rid you of your problem safely and efficiently, we’ll also give you tips to keep infestations from coming back to plague you in the future. We also consider the local environment, your children, and pets when we suggest pest control measures.
Problems with pests in your home or business usually only get worse if you leave them alone. The sooner we get started, the sooner you can put pest problems behind you. For free quotes or to schedule a visit at your property, just call 1-800-525-8084.