One of our best friends in Florida, unbeknownst to us, is bats. Because of our climate, we have mosquitos 12 months out of the year, depending on what part of the state we live in. A single brown bat can eat 100% of its body weight in insects PER NIGHT. They will eat 1200 insects PER HOUR. Not only do they eat mosquitos, they eat beetles, crickets, fruit flies, gnats, locusts, mosquitoes and others. Don’t worry about the old wife’s tails with bats getting caught in your hair. With their sense of radar they won’t have anything to do with you. Here’s a few of them.
1) Big brown bat – Found statewide except the keys, not very common. Found in buildings, bridges, bat houses and tree cavities. Forages year round in Florida.
2) Eastern red bat – Norther ½ of the state, Common. Found in tree foliage and leaf litter.
3) Hoary bat – Found in northern 1/3 of the state, Rare. Found in foliage, tree cavieties, tree trunks and Spanish moss.
4) Northern yellow bat – Statewide except the keys. Common, found in palm fronds and Spanish moss.
5) Seminole bat – Statewide except keys. Common, found in pine trees and Spanish moss.
6) Southeastern bat – Northern 2/3 of the state. Common, lives in caves, tree cavities, buildings, bridges, culverts and bat houses.
7) Gray bat – Panhandle. Rare, endangered. Caves only.
8) Evening bat – Statewide except the keys. Common – Tree Cavities, beneath bark, buildings, bridges and bat houses.
9) Tricolored bat – Statewide except keys. Common, lives in caves, tree foliage, tree cavities, rock crevices and Spanish moss.
10) Rafinesque big eared bat – Northern ¾. Uncommon, lives in tree cavities, beneath bark and buildings.
Here’s a few of the common bat houses that can be built from the Organization for Bat Conservation.