Bats in the Belfry: How to Rid Yourself of Them


Country MoonI have bats in the belfry – literally. However, I am luckier than most who have bat problems because I only have them in the bank barn and not in the house or garage. However, they are getting a little out of control as I hit one the other day while driving the Ranger. Jimmy asked how fast I was going and I told him I wasn’t going fast at all, the bat was flying slow!

Bats are usually beneficial to have around. They are huge bug-eaters, which makes us folks in the Midwest especially grateful for them this year since we have had so much rain and the mosquito population is threatening to carry us away. With just one bat able to eat 600 mosquitoes per hour, they certainly have been feasting this year.

They eat many different varieties of bugs, many that are detrimental to cultivated crops such as pecans, almonds, rice, cotton, corn, coffee, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans to name a few. With their help in pest control, farmers can use less pesticide which is good not only for the environment but also for the pocketbook. Scientists estimate that bats save farmers between 3.7 and 5.4 billion dollars in pest control per year. They are also excellent pollinators of various fruits and nuts. That is huge!

One of the more exciting bat contributions as of late is in the world of medicine. Scientists are extracting a compound from vampire bat saliva and turning it into a medicine called, of all things, Draculin. It is an anticoagulant drug used with stroke patients.

bats in the barn 

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