Eating insects, bats destroy them in huge numbers. In some places, these small animals even regulate the number of insect pests: many species of small and even large nocturnal butterflies (moths, moths, moths, cocoonworms, etc.), beetles. Evening parties and leathers hunt for the May bugs, barbel, bears, etc.
Studies have shown that bats eat the Colorado potato beetle, scoop, hawthorn, grasshopper and many other enemies of agriculture, as well as mosquitoes, midges, grasshoppers, cicadas. The red-headed evening party, for example, eats various insects, does not disdain even mosquitoes, and gnaws large bugs with sharp teeth. Bats also destroy some insects - carriers of diseases dangerous to humans and domestic animals. The intensity with which bats can catch prey is amazing - up to 500-600 insects per hour. One can observe how the animals grabbed two insects one after another. It is estimated that, on average, a bat makes 1100-1300 shots at flying insects during one hunt, and can eat so many insects during the night that they will make up more than a third of its own weight. A water night-lamp for evening feeding eats up to 3-3.3 g, just a third of its mass.
Bats are oriented in the dark and catch prey using echolocation: they send an ultrasonic signal and determine the distance to the object from the speed of return of the signal. And not only to the wall of the cave or the trunk of the tree, but, for example, to such a small insect as the flying fruit fly of Drosophila. The sensitivity of the bats’s “hearing” is enormous: a sharp-eyed night-night catches a wire with a diameter of 2 mm at a distance of almost 4 m, and a thickness of 0.2 mm - at a distance of more than 1 m. It is difficult for bats to catch butterflies, which are often not inferior to bats in speed and, Having the ability to perceive ultrasounds (almost 25-30 m), they change direction, folding their wings, fall to the ground with a stone and freeze.
The desire for unity (instinct of herdness) in bats is very developed, so they live in colonies from 2-3 individuals to several thousand. Red summer nights live in hollows in groups of 2-20 individuals in summer. The number of bats is growing slowly: as a rule, the female gives birth to 1-2 babies. In temperate and cold climates, bats enter hibernation (optimal temperature is 1. 10 ° C). Enemies of insectivorous bats, fortunately, are few in number - these are owls and owls, in which bats are only random prey, an addition to the main food.
It is sometimes difficult for an uninitiated summer resident to guess that this flying “ghost” lives nearby. You can find out about this by the following signs: around the place of entry of these animals smudges form on the wall, as well as black marks, similar to the litter of ordinary house mice. Do not offend or drive away bats, as these are fairly calm and safe neighbors. By the way, bats are considered high-quality fertilizer, which is many times more superior to other natural organic fertilizers in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus content.
Specialists advise gardeners and gardeners to attract bats to their plots, hanging specially for these animals tomtits known to all, but several times large in size (per colony). In this case, the letok is placed from below so that the animals can accommodate in the upper part of the nest. In order to attract bats in the absence of trees with hollows, you can hang out on shelves, at wide alleys and especially in ponds, in gardens, forests and parks, artificial shelters - hollows and snouts.
I hope that the undeserved notoriety will cease to haunt these harmless creatures - in principle, cute little animals with a quite funny little scared face and black sparkling eyes, and gardeners will provide them with shelters in their summer cottages. And the chilling appearance of bats can be forgiven - because they are the same age as dinosaurs and outwardly have changed little over 30-40 million years of their existence.
A. Lazarev, Art. scientific al. All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection, gazetasadovod.ru
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How to build a house for bats and where to place it
Requirements for the house:
1) It should be attached to a tree trunk or wall of a building
2) The size of the house should correspond to the size of the type of bats that live in your area, and which you want to attract.
3) Summer houses for mice differ in design from a house for wintering.
4) All houses should be made of non-toxic materials. Bats prefer the wood of old trees; houses from fresh planks have no chance of attracting these bats.
On the pole:
The sixth with a house is located in a place where bats traditionally feed, protected from strong winds and located on the sunny side. Bats themselves do not build and equip nests. They occupy warm places, pregnant females and young growth prefer shelters heated by the sun. An ideal design would be two or three houses located in one place and facing different parts of the world: southeast, south, southwest, so that the sun illuminates them at different times of the day. During the hot season, the southern lodge may be overheated, but other shelters will remain cooler and the bats will move there. The house should be located near a place protected by trees or bushes. Animals need natural barriers as a navigation to determine their route between the daytime lodge and the hunting area.
On the tree:
The higher you put the house, the better, the optimal height is 1.5 - 6 m. Most species prefer high-standing houses. but only brown earflaps Plecotus auritus Do not climb above 1.5 m above the ground.
It is recommended to make houses
from soft wood. No chemical treatment is allowed. The service life of the house is 10 years. The thickness of the board is 2.5 cm. The slit of the notch is 15 - 20 mm, it is located below, at the base of the house. The surface of the tree inside and outside is not treated, since bats crawl around the house, examining it for suitability for housing. houses are glued with waterproof glue, hammered with nails or fastened with screws. Use nails with a small head or completely cut off the head.
Location of houses
The house is located in a place where bats traditionally feed - near a forest or park, swamp, river or pond. The place should be protected from strong winds and located on the sunny side. It should be provided that there is unimpeded access to the location of the house, that is, bats should not stumble on foreign objects when flying home. Bats themselves do not build and equip nests. They occupy warm places, pregnant females and young growth prefer shelters heated by the sun. An ideal design would be two or three houses located in one place and facing different parts of the world: southeast, south, southwest, so that the sun illuminates them at different times of the day. During the hot season, the southern lodge may be overheated, but other shelters will remain cooler and the bats will move there. The house should be located near a place protected by trees or bushes. Animals need natural barriers as a navigation to determine their route between the daytime lodge and the hunting area.
Bat House Watching
It should be remembered that in the period from June to mid-August, bats give birth to cubs and feed them milk, so for this time it is better to refuse to monitor the bats and not disturb them. Bats hang in the house, attaching to the lid, so you can open the top of the house only when there are no mice there or shake them off the lid, otherwise you can pinch your paw and injure the mouse. Some houses open on the side, it is more convenient for inspection of the house, but more difficult to manufacture.
Winter houses should be insulated. They are made of their hollowed-out tree trunk, or simply summer houses are upholstered with 100 mm thin wood slats, and heat-insulating material is between the walls of the house and the plank. The houses can be made of cement and particle board - they are more durable.