View Full Version : We need bats to eat the massive insect population boom!



gmwise
07-08-2007, 12:32 PM
The weather has given us a massive insect population boom.
We shouldn't use pesticides which they can become immune to and has problems all in our ecosystem,ie the food chain.


Oklahoma Bat Facts
By: Carol Bunyard

* There are 45 different bat species native to the United States. Of these, 22 species are native to Oklahoma.
* All 22 bat species native to Oklahoma are insectivorous. The only fruit bats in Oklahoma are exotic species living in zoos (The two nectar eating and one fruit eating species native to the United States all live in subtropical climates.).
* The reproductive rate for bats is very slow compared to that of other mammals of comparable sizes. Most bat species give birth to only one or two pups per year. The red bat (Lasiurus borealis), however, typically gives birth to one litter per year of one to four pups..
* Many bats are very long-lived. There are records of little brown bats living 33 or more years.
* Over half of the bat species in the United States are endangered or have declining populations. This is largely due to human interference and encroachment.
* One small bat can eat over 1,000 mosquito sized insects in just one hour. Nursing mothers eat over twice this amount.
* Bats are not blind, they are not rodents, and they do not become entangled in people's hair.
* Oklahoma's bats use echolocation--the emission of ultrasonic sound waves used as a sort of "sonar"-- for navigation and for hunting insects.
* The red bat (Lasiurus borealis) is North America's only bat with sexually dimorphic color variations (males and females are colored differently).
* The bats seen most frequently at WildCare are the red bat (Lasiurus borealis), the evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis), the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), and the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis).

Oklahoma Bats in Trouble

In recent years, bat research scientists have noted serious population declines in several species. Oklahoma has three species on the federal list of endangered species -the Indiana, gray and Ozark big-eared bats -and three candidate species -Southeastern, small- footed and Rafinesque ' s big-eared bats. Three main causes for the decline in bat populations are:
Loss of habitat from surface mining operations, urbanization,lake and reservoir construction, and cave commercialization.
Vandalism from people not understanding the important role bats play in the ecosystem. They needlessly kill and disturb bats in maternity caves and during hibernation.
Pesticides entering bats via the numerous insects they eat which have been sprayed with agricultural pesticides.

Why Build a Bat House?
Due to decades of unwarranted human fear , vandalism and habitat loss, bat populations are declining in numbers. By putting up a bat house, you can help protect Oklahoma's valuable bat resource and benefit from their remarkable ability to control insect pests.

Bat House Success Secrets
A successful bat house depends upon many factors. In Oklahoma, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
Bat houses must be located a quarter mile or less from a stream, river or pond larger than three acres.
Bat houses must receive no more or less than four hours of daily sun.
In areas south of Interstate-40, paint houses white to protect bats from overheating.
In areas north of Interstate-40, paint the top half of the house light brown and the bottom half white.
Mount houses 15 feet or more above the ground. Houses mounted on the sides of buildings or poles are more attractive to some bats than houses placed on trees.
If possible, erect houses in groups of three or more. Houses on the sides of buildings should be placed close together. Pole-mounted houses can be placed facing different directions where they won't receive too much sunlight.

No Bats in Your Belfry?
If bats don 't occupy houses after two summers, experiment! Bat roosting preferences are still not completely understood. Try moving the bat house a few feet to receive more or less sun or try raising it higher off the ground.
Double check your assessment of the house's location. Have all criteria for bat house placement been met?
Bats may not be able to live in your area due to heavy pesticide use, inadequate food supply or because they already have sufficient local roosts. Generally, do not expect bats to use your house during the winter.

Bat House Management
If wasps become a problem, blast them with a high- pressure hose. Scrape mud dauber nests early in the season for better control. DO NOT USE PESTICIDES!
Check bat houses for bats once or twice a month in summer and then once each fall and winter. After bats are established, check only a few times per season.
To check bat houses, briefly shine a flashlight into the house. Be careful not to touch the house and be as quiet as possible.
If the wood of your bat houses begins to warp, especially near the top, seal any gaps with silicon caulking. If the warping is significant, build a new house. Drafts keep bats from efficiently trapping body heat and from maintaining optimum conditions for rearing young.
Besides mounting bat houses, you might consider wrapping corrugated metal around tree trunks to provide summer roosts for tree-dwelling bats.

Bats Most Likely to Use a House
The following bats would be the most likely species to occupy bat houses. In general, any species that naturally roosts in buildings, under bridges, or in trees and cavities is a bat house candidate.
Little Brown Bats are not common in the state, but houses probably would be used by males for summer roosts.
Cave Myotis are found in the western half of the state. Houses probably would be used for late summer and early fall roosting.
Eastern Pipistrel are very abundant in the eastern third of the state. Houses might be used for summer roosts.
Big Brown Bats are widespread through the eastern half of the state. Houses could be used for nursery colonies, summer roosts or hibernation.
Evening Bats are most abundant in the eastern half of the state. Houses would be used for rearing young and for summer roosts.
Pallid Bats are found in Cimarron, Woodward and Woods counties and in the Wichita Mountains. Houses probably would be used for summer roosts.
Mexican Free-tailed Bats migrate each fall to South America but return in spring to set up nursery colonies in gypsum caves in the western third of the state. Houses could be used for rearing young or as roosts by transients.

Additional Sources
If you have a bat house already mounted or know of a roosting area for bats, the Nongame Wildlife Program would like to hear from you. Call or write for the "Bat House /Bat Roosting Survey."
To learn more about Oklahoma's endangered bats, request "Oklahoma's Endangered Species" booklet from the Nongame Wildlife Program.
Dr. William Caire, co-author of this brochure, is a recognized mammalogist specializing in bats. Write to him at the Biology Department, University of Central Oklahoma, 100 University Drive, Edmond, OK 73034.
Bat Conservation International is recognized as the international leader in conservation initiatives that protect bats and their habitats. They have an " Adopt-A-Bat" pro- gram that people can support. Write BCI, P.O.Box 162603, Austin, TX 78716, or call (512) 327-9721.

Rifleman2C
07-08-2007, 01:14 PM
gmwise,

Not to call you out or anything, but if you are going to put what essentially amounts to a PSA on this site, it would probably help your cause if those of us that read it could actually go to a website, instead of writing a letter to someone in Texas.


Just thought I'd be the first to say it. This is an internet message board, after all.

gmwise
07-08-2007, 05:49 PM
I'm sure we all know how to Google.
Or try the Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife.

Karried
07-08-2007, 09:36 PM
Welcome to Bat Conservation International (http://www.batcon.org/home/default.asp)

I think it's pretty interesting. I'm all for getting rid of these BUGS! I have more bites these last few days than I've ever had in my lifetime! And that's with repellant. yuk

gmwise
07-09-2007, 10:04 AM
Well you know its more realistic then spraying thousands of gallons of pesticides, which the insects can become over time unaffected by, but insects CAN"T become immune to a predator.
Add the fact its one of the easiest things we can do ,its a case of "autopilot" pest control.

windowphobe
07-09-2007, 06:48 PM
"Them bats is smart. They use radar." - David Letterman