How and Why To Attract Bats To Your Garden

Lesser Horseshoe bat

Bats can be a great help in balancing an overabundance of insects in your garden and helping the ecosystem to thrive. When you have a balanced ecosystem in your garden, organic gardening is a lot easier, since pests are naturally kept within bounds. What is more, encouraging and aiding bats in your garden means that you will be doing your bit to help safeguard the bat species that we have in the UK.


As is often the case when attracting certain wildlife, planting is key. You can help to create a good environment for bats (with plenty of night-flying insects) by planting a night garden with flowers that are scented at night. Allowing your garden to go a little wild, not cutting the lawn quite as often and sowing plenty of wildflowers and native plants and trees can also help to create a good atmosphere for the bats. A pond will also increase biodiversity in your garden and keep help bats happy and well fed.


bat boxesIf you can, placing a bought or hand-made bat box in your garden will give them a place to stay, though remember when placing it that you should place it somewhere away from noise and areas of heaviest footfall and ideally somewhere out of reach of domestic cats. Incidentally if you have a cat and want to attract bats then you should always keep your cat inside during the night.


Alternatively, oak, beech and ash trees may be good roosts for bats, especially if they have cavities and cover. Consider being quiet and leaving some wild areas around a tree that looks suitable to make it more likely to be colonised. Linear features such as hedgerows and tree lines will also make a better bat habitat.


Bat boxWhile bats in the UK evolved to live in trees and caves, many have now adopted to roost in buildings such as barns or sheds or garages. Allowing bats to roost in outbuildings or encouraging them to do so is another good way to get involved with bat conservation and help balance your organic garden ecosystem.


One of the things that really upsets bats and can make it hard for them to live in your space is bright, artificial lighting. If you want to attract bats (along with a host of other beneficial creatures) then you should not floodlight your garden, nor should you use security lights that come on in response to motion in your garden. It would be best, so as not to upset the creatures sharing your space, to find other ways to keep your property secure.

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