Bats in your belfry?  Be grateful!

Bats are important. They keep down the pests in our gardens and fields, play a huge part in pollination and distribute fruit seeds. If the bees continue to desert us, we’re going to need to befriend the bats unless we wish to see whole ecosystems collapse.


Their greatest threat of course is you and me. We disturb and destroy their habitats,  build wind turbines, high speed roads and railways, all potential bat killers.

Bats are a gardener’s friend, just like snakes, frogs, toads and many other ‘things that make you go eurgh’. A single little brown bat can eat one thousand mosquitoes in an hour. In fact, bats are nocturnal insecticide bombs! What’s not to like?

Our knowledge of bats tends to stem more from fiction than from fact – they will fly into your hair, suck your blood, carry rabies, frighten your sheep – but these  beliefs come from  lack of education (ours) and discreet habits (theirs).

Bats and tequilaFacts about bats
– they bring up their babies in a ‘nursery’ for warmth (fathers do not share childcare)
– they are the only true flying mammal (they are NOT rodents)
– there are over one thousand species
– they are nocturnal and ‘see’ by echolocation (sound waves bouncing back to them)
– the earliest bat fossils go back 52 million years
– their dung makes rich fertiliser, and was used to make gun powder in the American Civil War
– bats do not bite, and do not suck the blood of humans

Finally, if you’re  still not convinced, take a look at Mexico where bats  pollinate the flowers of the agave cactus……and remember that without them, there would be no tequila!

So next time you’re sipping a Marguerita on the terrace, drink a toast to bats and millions of years of evolution to bring you a cocktail!

 By Linda Razzell


  1. Anything that eats mosquitoes gets my vote,,, I cant be 100% sure but sitting outside at dusk I am convinced that they can fly upside down when ‘hunting’

  2. Every year, as summer arrives, so do our two pipistrelle bats. It’s not a proper summer without Bertie and Pete hanging about in our porch.

  3. A bat managed to get into our grenier and hid under the loft insulation
    We could hear something (and our cat) moving about on our ceiling.
    Armed with a large box and a towell we investigated.
    There is was, my husband with the aid of the aforsaid towell, carefully put it into the box, kept it all day in our dark garage. When it was dark we released it from our terrasse, we were so pleased to see it fly off unharmed.
    Really pleased to read your article as we did not know how important they were.

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