It is that time of year when we think of things that go bump in the night. Often relegated with spooks, ghouls, and ghosts, bats have acquired an eerie reputation. These creatures of night, while scary to some, do a vital service to us all as a natural mosquito repellent. They consume huge quantities of mosquitoes and other unpleasant insects. One bat alone can consume over a thousand mosquitoes every hour! (That’s about six thousand mosquitoes every night!)
There are several bat species living in Michigan, some are not very common. We can (and should) encourage these natural insect eaters to set up their homes by planting trees and establishing a water source, like a pond or fountain. If you can, put up a few bat boxes for their daytime residence. Bats are more likely to live in groups or colonies, so try adding more than one bat box. Place the box at least fifteen feet high and protect it from potential raccoon and cat invaders.
It may take a while for the bats to move in but once there you can enjoy the benefits of this natural mosquito repellent all summer.