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Bats and Insect Control

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio
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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.

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.