Do you know how many mosquitoes a single bat can eat in an hour? Neither did we when our summer interns decided to build bat houses for our Wedgewood Urban Gardens for their independent summer project. Recent USN graduates, Jack Spiva and Miro Hurdle, along with help from their good friend Joey Simon, spent hours researching, planning and constructing these two multi-chamber bat houses.
Why bats? According to Bat Conservation International:
"Bats are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Most bats eat huge amounts of insects, including farm pests and many of the nasty bugs that harass outdoor gatherings. They are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants. And homes are often in short supply for bats. Their populations are declining around the world, often because of disappearing habitat."
Here in Tennessee, we are also worried about the spread of white nose syndrome. Again according to BCI, "White-nose Syndrome has devastated bat populations across the eastern United States during the past five years, causing “the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America,” according to biologists." We hope that in providing healthy summer habitat for these friendly neighbors, we will help strengthen their populations as they fight this devastating disease. Check out the photos below for pictures of the final build and installation of our new bat houses. We eagerly await our first night-time visitors. And thanks again to Jack, Miro and Joey for making it happen!
And, the answer to our question? One bat can eat over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one hour!