Bats sometimes have negative connotations, but we’re not sure why! Read on to find out why you might want to encourage bats to visit your garden, and how to go about it.
How to Make Your Garden Bat-Friendly and Why It’s Important
Why Encourage Bats to Visit Your Garden?
These nocturnal creatures provide the night shift for pollination, and they’re vital for some plants. According to the US Forest Service, over 300 species of fruit depend on bats for pollination, as do the Agave plant and the Saguaro, the state cactus of Arizona. Fans of tequila may be interested to know that the Agave plant is used to make this spirit, so bats are definitely your friends!
In addition to being important pollinators, they also provide insect control, aid in cave preservation, and provide natural seed disbursement. Find out more about the benefits of bats.
Tips for a Bat-Friendly Garden
Plant Night-Scented Flowers
Nocturnal insects will be attracted to night-scented flowers, which will in turn attract bats. Bats need lots of insects, and so the more insects are attracted to your garden, the better! Examples of night-scented flowers that attract insects include:
- Evening Primrose
Avoid Plants that Repel Bats
There are certain plants that bats dislike because of their smell, and so it’s best to stay away from planting them if you wish to attract bats to your garden. Examples include cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
Trees are beneficial for a variety of bat species. Here are some examples of how they are useful:
- Branches make good feeding perches
- Provide protection during bad weather
- Roosting opportunities in cracks, crevices, rot holes, and woodpecker holes
- Winter hibernation spaces in hollow trunks
Provide a Water Source
Providing a water source is a great way to attract bats. Ponds, water features, and bird baths are all examples that could work well in gardens.
Install a Bat Box
Bat boxes provide roosting spaces. There are various types of bat box you can purchase or you could make one yourself, but different species have different requirements, so it’s best to do some research before you decide to buy or make one.
Reduce Artificial Lighting
Bats are nocturnal animals, therefore artificial lighting in gardens isn’t ideal for these creatures. Bats may avoid illuminated places and it can affect the times they leave their roost to hunt, which makes it particularly important that there isn’t artificial lighting aimed at bat roosts.
Keep Cats Indoors During the Night
Cats can catch bats and play with them, resulting in injuries and infection. In order to make your garden a safe haven for bats, it’s best to keep cats indoors during the night if possible.
We hope you have fun creating a bat-friendly garden! Show your love for these important pollinators with our Eptesicus fuscus - big brown bat tshirts, hoodies, tote bags, and more! Whenever you shop with us, we donate 10% to environmental non-profits including Pollinator Partnership. Help to protect the pollinators - shop now.