Benefits of Bats
Bats make good neighbors. As the only major predators of night flying insects, bats play an important role in controlling many insect pests. A single bat can consume as many as 500 insects in just one hour, or nearly 3,000 insects every night. A colony of just 100 little brown bats, the most abundant species in the Northeast, may consume more than a quarter of a million mosquitoes and other small insects each night.
Big brown bats, which live primarily in agricultural areas, feed on June bugs, cucumber beetles, green and brown stinkbugs, and leafhoppers. Research has shown that over the course of a summer, a colony of 150 big brown bats can eat 38,000 cucumber beetles, 16,000 June bugs, 19,000 stinkbugs, and 50,000 leafhoppers and can prevent the hatching of 18 million corn rootworms by devouring the adult beetles.
Big brown bats eat many agricultural pests, such as June beetles.
The red, hoary, and silver-haired bats help to maintain forest health in the region by feeding on forest pests such as tent caterpillar moths. Because of their role in controlling insect numbers throughout the Northeast and elsewhere in the United States, the maintenance of wild bat populations is important for maintaining ecosystem health.