Gardening For Bats


Bats eat night flying insects.  If you would like to attract bats to your garden, you may want to plant flowers that are late day blooming or night-scented.  These plants will attract night pollinators, like moths, which bats like to eat.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Evening Primrose
  • Phlox
  • Nightflowering/Silene catchfly
  • Fleabane
  • Goldenrod
  • Four o' clocks
  • Salvia
  • Nicotiana
  • Moonflowers
  • Aromatic herbs


Some other tips for a bat garden:

Dead trees are also important bat habitat; they provide a place for insects to gather and as roosting spots for bats.

Train fragrant perennial vines to climb walls or fences to provide possible roosting sites.  Create a sheltered corner by using any combination of walls, fences, or hedges at two angels.

Ponds provide water for insects to reproduce.

Un-mown areas provide shelter and food for insect larvae.

Garden lights can attract insects and serve as a feeder for the bats. 

Garden organically.  Pesticides can be very harmful to bats and other wildlife.

Bats can help your garden

Bats eat many garden and agricultural pests including cutworm moths, chafer beetles, potato beetles and spotted cucumber beetles.   Some moths can detect a bats’ echolocation and will avoid the area where bats are present.

Bat guano is also a great fertilizer.

Bats and plants around the world

Bats are very important to many species of plants around the world.

In the tropics, fruit and nectar feeding bats are very important to the survival and re-growth of the rainforest.  Fruit eating bats disperse rainforest seeds as they fly, many miles each night. Nectar feeding bats pollinate the flowers of many valuable plants, including bananas, mangoes, dates and figs.

In desert areas, bats are important pollinators.  Many cacti species depend on bats for pollination and only open their flowers at night.  Bats are the primary pollinators of the pipe organ cactus and the agave from which we produce tequila.

And of course the many insect eating bats found around the world are important in protecting plants by controlling the insect pest population.


© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation