Join us! - MTBC Events and Field Trips

Close this search box.

Batty about Summer

It’s summertime (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the evening skies are alive with activity. As the sun sets, bugs are flying around and bats are in pursuit. As the weather warms, evening emergences are getting larger and larger. It’s hard not to have bats on the brain! Since many people are thinking of our winged friends more often this time of year, here are some of our favorite summer-related resources all in one place.

MTBC's Summer Season Suggestions:

Bat House Warnings

If we’re hot, they’re hot! But it may not be what you think. Observations of heat-stressed (sometimes dead) bats associated with bat houses have led to unfortunate speculation that bat houses can become ecological traps that lure bats to their death. While it is true that some bat houses are badly built, sold with false claims, and little (if any) instruction on bat needs — there is NO evidence that poorly constructed bat houses threaten bat survival. Read the full post here. 

David Bamberger with his pair of occupied bat houses on his ranch in Texas
Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) are common building dwellers across most of North America and are among the most frequently encountered by people. They form small nursery colonies, normally 200 or less, and are a gardeners best friend. They consume vast numbers of pests, including cucumber beetles, leafhoppers, and stink bugs.
Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) are common building dwellers across most of North America and are among the most frequently encountered by people. They form small nursery colonies, normally 200 or less, and are a gardeners best friend. They consume vast numbers of pests, including cucumber beetles, leafhoppers, and stink bugs.

Bats in Buildings 

Bats that enter human living quarters are typically lost youngsters. They are frightened, looking for an escape. Even when sick they normally bite only in self-defense if handled. The greatest risks of injury (for humans or bats) stem from panicked responses, not from the bats themselves.

It is simple to evict an unwanted guest (if you don’t panic, run, and the bat hasn’t disappeared when you return with help). Check out our full guide. 

Selecting a Quality Bat House & The Bat House Guide

Since Merlin first introduced bat houses to North America in 1982, one of the most frequently asked questions has been, “Where can I purchase a good bat house?” The next question that always follows is, “How do I know bats will come?”

Get the quick tips here and use The Bat House Guide to research the best spot for your bat house needs. And, if you’re looking for tips on WHERE to purchase a bat house, scroll down to see vendors who qualified under MTBC’s bat house certification program and meet most of our criteria for bat house access and longevity. Read the full post here. 

Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) roosting in 3-chambered bat house on extra hot day in Texas.
A little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) in flight in Wisconsin. One bat can catch up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour.

Bats and Mosquito Control

Bats are the primary predators of the vast numbers of insects that fly at night, and some species consume large numbers of mosquitoes when they are available. However, mosquito control is a complex problem that rarely can be solved by a single approach. Individuals of some bat species can capture up to a 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour, and large colonies can consume amazing quantities. Because mosquitoes do not take evasive action, and are exceptionally easy to capture, bats sometimes appear to prefer them over larger prey. Nursing mothers can eat up to their body weight in insects nightly. Read the full post here. 

Rabies in Perspective

Every summer, and especially as we get closer to Halloween, we start to see a spike in needlessly sensational rabies stories featuring exaggerations of truth. Use our resources to share the truth about bats when you encounter a misinformed friend or sensational article. Read more here, and let us help you put rabies in perspective for your communities.

Millions of tourists have watched free-tailed bat emergences from the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas over the past 35 years without anyone ever having been harmed.
A spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) pollinating a black bean tree (Castanospermum australe), a prized timber tree in Australia. Nearly a third of the remaining breeding population died during the November 2018 heat wave. Their loss threatens some of the continent's most ecologically and economically valuable trees.

Climate Change and Bats

Mass die-offs of bats and other animals are early warnings of serious environmental stress. In fact, bats are especially relevant indicators. They form the largest, most vulnerable aggregations of any mammal except Homo sapiens. Yet, their importance and plight have long been neglected. Changing temperatures and environments are fair cause for a rise in concern. Listen to our SXSW panel about how animals – like bats – can help us avoid climate fatigue and contribute in meaningful ways. Read our full post here.

Pesticide Addiction and How Bats Can Help

Pesticide addiction is caused by what entomologists refer to as the pesticide treadmill – insect pests rapidly evolve resistance, gradually forcing farmers to increase both the volume and toxicity of poisons to achieve the same results. Simultaneously, because predators of pests have much smaller populations and reproduce slower, they are more effectively poisoned or starved. Remaining pests then flourish in a largely predator-free environment. Most people don’t realize that many of our most feared insect pests are nocturnal and preyed upon by bats. These include disease-carrying mosquitoes and a wide variety of the world’s most costly moth, beetle, and plant-hopper pests. In the U.S. alone, despite greatly reduced numbers, bats still are estimated to save farmers more than 22 billion dollars annually. Read our full post here.

A black woolly bat (Kerivoula furva) capturing an oriental leafworm moth in Taiwan. This is one of Australasia’s most costly crop pests. It attacks a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops.
Commissarisi's long-tongued bat (Glossophaga commissarisi) pollinating nacedero (Trichanthera gigantea) in Panama.

Valuable Services

Beyond pest control, bats also help people all over the world through pollination and seed dispersal. In fact, there are whole industries that rely on bats to pollinate their plants and spread their seeds. Here are just a few examples:

  • Fruit-eating bats appear to be the best long-distance dispersers of the Neem tree, one of the world’s most medicinally important species.
  • Mexico’s entire tequila industry relies on a single species of bat-pollinated agave plant.
  • SE Asia’s favorite fruit, the durian, sells for more than a billion dollars annually and requires bat pollinators even when grown in orchards.

Share the truth about bats: click here to read more.

The Perfect Summer Bat Outing: Merlin Tuttle Day

Plan your visit to see the world-famous Congress Avenue Bridge colony during peak season! The Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony has proven to be invaluable neighbors, providing essential pest control, attracting millions of tourists, all while decorating Austin’s night skies. Thanks to Merlin, these bats are a staple of Austin’s culture, and the “Bat City” is now a world leader in demonstrating harmonious living with bats. We celebrate Austin’s bats and Merlin’s birthday during our annual Merlin Tuttle Day event on August 26, 2024. Tickets are on sale now – come celebrate with us!

People from all over the world enjoy the summer bridge emergence from a Capital Cruises ride, in Austin, Texas. Learn more about the famous colony and Merlin's impact on the history of Austin at

Our Resources are here to help you, help bats, and help people everywhere.

At MTBC, it is our mission to share Merlin’s more than 60-year legacy of experience in bat research, conservation, and photography to help educate people about the importance, and many benefits, of bats. Teaching people to live harmoniously with bats has helped MTBC save millions of bats; while protecting public health, economies, and ecosystems worldwide. Whether you’re a curious naturalist, interested biologist, industry professional, or just looking to learn more about bats, our Resources are here to help. 

Love our content? Support us by sharing it!


Related Posts

Don't miss a post!

Get all the latest news from MTBC delivered straight to your inbox.

Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.