On Sunday, March 11, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Suffield Land Conservancy and Friends of the Farm at Hilltop will co-sponsor a workshop to build bat houses. We hope you will join us to learn more about these elusive, yet very useful animals. Bats are primarily insect eaters, which benefits people in many ways. Mosquitos not only give us annoying, itchy bites, but can carry several diseases that infect people and dogs. A little brown bat can eat 1,200 mosquitos in an hour, making it much more effective than birds, bug zappers or poisonous yard sprays. Bats also eat many agricultural pests such as cutworms, corn borer moths, gypsy moths, potato beetles and grasshoppers.
Outside of observing brown bats flitting around the backyard on a warm summer evening gobbling up mosquitos in the air, most of us rarely see or encounter bats. Unfortunately, these sightings are getting rarer each year. Bat populations are plummeting around the world, primarily due to habitat destruction. Here in the northeast, millions of bats have been killed by a deadly disease known as white nose syndrome. Conservation measures are critical to help the remaining bats to survive.
A properly constructed and placed bat house provides a safe place for bats to roost and raise their young. If you would like to attend the workshop to build a bat house, please register at www.hilltopfarmsuffield.org. For more information about bats in general, please check out www.batcon.org.