Outside Scoop: Summer Bats
Winged rodents live off a heavy diet of insects, and make good fertilizer
As the monsoon season arrives in Vail Valley, and the insects take advantage of the moisture, be bat aware, and appreciative. A single brown bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitoes an hour according to experts. And, if a healthy bat can live up to 20 years, can you imagine how many bugs a bat consumes in a lifetime?
It’s easy to spot the winged rodents (yes, they are in the same classification as mice and rats) come dusk when they leave their caves and roosts in search of food. There are 18 different species of bats in Colorado and all either hibernate in winter or migrate elsewhere once the weather turns cold. With no bugs, there cannot be bat activity. According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, bats can be found in every habitat of the State, from the eastern plains to high mountain forests and western deserts, from rural towns to downtown Denver.
Did you know that bat excrement (poop) can be used as a fertilizer because it contains nitrogen and phosphorous?
Bees aren’t the only pollinators! Bats also pollinate plants in addition to controlling insect populations. Colorado Parks & Wildlife claims that the Little brown bat was recorded eating more than 150 mosquitoes and crop pests in less than 15 minutes.