How Bats Benefit Farmers

Jan 20, 2021

Credit SC Public Radio

In the United States, we have forty-seven species of bats with 14 found in South Carolina. Most US bats and all of our bats are insectivorous with spiders thrown in, too. As such, they are hugely beneficial. Agriculture is the driving force in South Carolina’s economy, and the estimate is that insect suppression from bats is worth one hundred fifteen million dollars a year just in our small state.  Maybe you’re not a farmer – how about that bats, especially the little brown bat, use mosquitoes as a major part of their diet, including many that carry West Nile Virus. Bigger bats eat bigger insects with the largest numbers including Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies and their super destructive larvae; Diptera – the true flies which includes mosquitoes, Coleoptera – those crunchy beetles, and the bees, wasps and ants in the order Hymenoptera. Their full stomachs translate into money in the bank for farmers.