Nature

4 Ways to Make Your Texas Backyard More Bat-Friendly

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Like them or not, bats are a common visitor to many backyards after the sun sets. While some people are fearful of these furry, nocturnal creatures, there is really no reason to be. Bats are an important component of our ecosystem. They eat millions of bugs every night and are important pollinators. Making your backyard more bat-friendly is a way to welcome these helpful creatures and make our environment a bit more hospitable so that they may do their work.

Here are four tips that Bat Conservation International suggest to make your backyard more bat-friendly this fall:

1. Take a Break From the Rake

Rake leaves

Photo: Flickr/Dean Hochman

While it sounds strange to encourage you not to clean up your yard, it’s for good reason. Bat Conservation International says, “Not all bats hibernate in caves – many, like the eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) roost primarily in trees, and when the mercury drops they head for the ground, where they shelter all winter long under a warm blanket of leaves. Even a shallow layer on the ground can help hibernating bats stay hidden and hydrated.”

2. Leave Ailing Trees Alone Until After Winter

trees

Photo: Flickr/John Brian Silverio

Your holey trees make a perfect place for bats to ride out the cold weather. If you have a tree with peeling bark, deep cracks, and even woodpecker damage, consider leaving it just the way it is. Though tree-roosting bats are often solitary, when winter approaches, they’ll huddle together for warmth by the twos and threes in even unbelievably tight squeezes: beneath tree bark, in disused nest cavities, in woodpiles, even in cracks in fence posts. Once the threat of cold weather is behind us, then feel free to take care of dead trees, but for winter, consider leaving them for the bats to use.

3. Offer Up Your Pool or Pond for a Watering Hole

fountain
Photo: Flickr/bobistraveling

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