I’m not sure how one can become enamored with bats. We’ve been taught our entire lives to fear and loathe them. That they are just rabies infested flying rats, and they have a face only a mother could love. I am realizing that lore is a pile of guano.
Doing some research for a project in Summerville, SC, it had come to my attention that in the days after the American Revolutionary War the wealthy would flock to Summerville from Charleston in the summers in order to avoid mosquitos and the sweltering heat. Today, you can’t really avoid mosquitos from the Lowcountry to Mason Dixon line.
One afternoon on a visit to Buffalo Lake with William “Mac” Baughman, the talk of birds quickly turned to talk of bats. Mac is a forester, biologist, land man, should-be mayor, and an important part of the Summers Corner team. As we stood overlooking the lake in order to better understand the bird habitats that existed there, and where we could potentially locate cavity boxes for a project we are working on, a bat flew right in front of us.
“Was that a…”
“That was a Mexican free tail bat, there are a thousand out here.”
Mac replied before I ever finished.
“ We should forget about the duck boxes and put up bat houses out here.”
“Well good luck getting people on board to support that.”
That was the general sentiment every time we suggested putting a giant bat house at the Buffalo Lake. Bats are scary. What if a bat bites someone. They are so creepy. Nobody wants bats that close to people. And on and on and on. Without fail.
I suppose bats can be scary, but maybe because they only come out at night. I suppose a swallow would be scary if it dive bombed your patio for insects at night instead of the day. I also suppose bats could bite someone, but this probably happens rarely and only if it’s injured or sick and a human approaches it (don’t ever approach a wild animal- did we learn nothing from Highlights magazine). And I hate to break it to you, but bats are probably living close to you whether you acknowledge them or not.
Let me tell you why I’m digging the bat. They are pollinators, pest eaters and seed spreaders. They probably do as much, or more, than our cute friendly little bird friends. There is an incredible amount of biodiversity that comes with having a bat colony around. They consume a ridiculous amount of mosquitos – averages range from 600 to 1000 each hour. And that doesn't even account for the other crop damaging pests they consume. They also love to feed on nectar, therefore naturally pollinating fruit bearing plants. We need pollinators, more than ever. You can read more information on why bats are important here.
We are happy to announce (and very proud of our client) that a large bat house has been constructed and installed at the Buffalo Lake at Summers Corner. We hope that the current bat population there will love their new home. We hope the residents and visitors will start to understand and appreciate the benefit of the bat and their importance in nature.
Form more information about this amazing new community in Summerville, SC, visit SummersCorner.com