Over 70% of all bat species feed on insects and as such play an important role in controlling insect numbers. UK bats do not suck your blood – but they will help clear the air of bloodsucking mosquitoes!

All bats in the UK are insectivores – they only eat insects. Insect-eating bats are great for keeping bugs away from crops and gardens. The Brazilian free-tailed bat has been recognised as an important “insect management service” in cotton farming. Because bats eat so many insects in some regions, they can also reduce the need for pesticide sprays.

While bats can provide a valuable service for agriculture, some agricultural practices can have a detrimental impact on bats. Increased use of pesticides may mean that bats go hungry from the lack of insect prey. The destruction of hedgerows and woods in farmland is also concerning, as bats rely on these features for roosting, hunting and getting around.

Insect control

Daniel Hargreaves