Monday, October 31, 2005

I Like Bats More Than I Thought


I can honestly say I have no desire to come face to face with a bat but I have a tremendous amount of respect for them now because I found out how many insects they eat and how much they contribute to our environment. They normally eat about half their weight in flying insects including mosquitoes and can consume up to 200 tons of insects per night. Without bats, diseases like the West Nile Virus would spread further and faster. Some bats also help to keep our rodent population in check.

Bats also produce guano, which can be used as a fertilizer, while most chemical fertilizers leach out of the soil soon after being applied; guano remains much longer, enhancing the soil and slowly continuing to feed the plant. Guano also is rich in bioremediation microbes, which clean up toxic substances. These same microbes will combat fungus when sprayed directly on a plant's leaves. Finally, guano contains powerful decomposing microbes, which help control soil-borne diseases and harmful nematodes, which serve as ideal compost activators, significantly speeding the decomposition process.

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