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Bats and Insect Control

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

One way many bats find their supper is by flying around and emitting radar like sounds and listening to the signals that bounce off potential prey, a system called echolocation. The signals differ from species to species according to the bats’ body size, size of the intended prey and the sensitivity of that bat’s hearing. When a bat detects a potential meal is, it increases the frequency and zeros in. It’s pretty hard to catch an evasive insect on the wing with your mouth, and some bats have a structure, the uropatagium, they can use like a catcher’s mitt. Biologists have had difficulty distinguishing bats by their calls, but thanks to technology, even a homeowner can get relatively inexpensive devices that identifies noises from different species letting you know you   which unseen aerialists are helping you with pest control.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.