With Halloween approaching, some spooky things like bats and vampires might have crossed your mind. Poor bats, they get a bad rep! While bats may not be the prettiest creatures, they’re actually extremely helpful when it comes to battling insect pests. Plant-eating beetles, moths, hornworms, grasshoppers, and stinkbugs can cause terrible damage to your garden, but these insects are among some of a bat’s favorite meals.

Still thinking about blood suckers? Out of over 1,000 species only three actually take blood from mammals. And those species live exclusively in the Central American. Bats actually help keep the mosquito population down!

Some smaller bat species feed on pollen and flower nectar, and play an important role as pollinators! Most of these types of bats live south of the border and pollinate such fruits as guava, avocados, bananas, and mangoes.

Before attempting any control methods designed for bats, it is important to verify that they are the cause of your problems. Ask your pest control technician for assistance in this area. Because bats are so important to our ecosystem, we don’t want to do anything that might hurt them.

One sign that bats are night-roosting in your porch or patio areas is the presence of dropping in the corners or on the walls. Another thing to look for is moth wings with these droppings.

Although bats rarely do actual damage to dwellings, their droppings and urine can cause an undesirable odor. After long periods of time, the odor could attract additional bats. The best way to clean up bat excrement is to vacuum up solid waste and spray an enzyme cleaner to remove urine stains. In this case, more cleaner is better. It might seem like you’re using too much, but it’s better to be safe than sorry later!

Occasionally, temporary control can be achieved with the use of moth balls. The moth balls, either in a satchel or by themselves, can be placed in an out of the way spot where you see bat activity (preferably by a light source.) Since the moth balls repelled the moths, which the bats eat, the bats should quit coming around!

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