Page 20

Backyard Bats

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JUDY WUTHRICH

L

ate spring and early summer is when you first start noticing the return of bats. They congregate under eaves, behind shutters and everywhere else they can squeeze their tiny bodies for shelter for the brief time they visit our area. Yes, bats can make a mess but they do possess some redeeming qualities which seem to be overlooked because of our repulsion and misunderstanding of these small mammals. Bat droppings, also known as ‘guano’, are wonderful free fertilizer for indoor and outdoor plants and possess high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. So, instead of getting aggravated with the mess bats make, sweep it up and think of the savings you are getting by not having to buy artificial fertilizer. Bats are a natural bug repellant. One bat can consume about 8,000 mosquitoes in a single night. That means fewer mosquito bites for you. Bats also eat bugs that are harmful to crops, saving farmers money by not needing pesticides. If you have a street lamp burning near your house attracting lots of insects, you will probably notice the distinct fluttering of bats delving in a delightful smorgasbord. Speaking of fluttering, you can always discern the difference between a bat and a bird by their wing flapping. A bat’s

18 – SILVER CITYLIFE

Silver City Life Summer/Fall 2011  

Silver City Life is a fabulous publication featuring the best of what Silver City New Mexico has to offer in the way of unique people, busin...

Silver City Life Summer/Fall 2011  

Silver City Life is a fabulous publication featuring the best of what Silver City New Mexico has to offer in the way of unique people, busin...

Advertisement