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Leaving a Dead Tree Standing Makes a Home for Bats

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio
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Clemson ecology experts T J Savareno and Ben Powell say that having some untidy parts of our yards  makes a home friendly to all types of wildlife – from snakes that eat rats, to insects that pollinate our food crops, and for bats that eat harmful agricultural pests and annoying and potentially disease carrying mosquitoes. Bats International says if you can safely leave a dead tree, the space between the bark and the wood is perfect for a bat to squeeze into for shelter or rest. In a naturalized part of our yard, we have a large dogwood that’s died; it won’t cause any trouble when it finally falls and in the mean time I hope it will be a place where bats will squeeze under the textured bark and find a protected space from which they’ll emerge to eat pesky mosquitoes.

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.