COURSE CARE
Welcome To The Bat Cave May 14, 2016 By Elliott Dowling, agronomist, Northeast Region

Bat boxes are an affordable and environmentally friendly way to increase the bat population at your course. 

Most golfers have experienced the frustration of playing golf during an all-out aerial assault from mosquitoes and flies. On the worst days, one might even consider wearing a head net just to finish a round. Trying to have a relaxing dinner on the veranda with moths and other insects dive-bombing your head can be even more unpleasant.

Flying insects can ruin a round of golf or a great dinner, and they are very difficult to control. Insecticides and traps can provide short-term relief, but is there a more cost-effective and sustainable solution?

Bats are natural predators of beetles, moths, mosquitoes and flies, so increasing the bat population at your course will help control nuisance flying pests. Depending on species, each individual bat can eat up to 1,200 flying insects per hour, consuming up to 8,000 insects each night.

Installing bat boxes is an easy way to increase the bat population at your course. To attract bats to your course, follow these steps to construct and place bat boxes:

1.   Choose a location near water

2.   The wooden boxes should be 36 inches tall, 25 inches wide and 10 inches deep with the bottom left open.

4.   Orient the opening toward the east or southeast and ensure the box receives at least seven hours of sunlight per day for warmth.

5.   Boxes should be at least 10 feet off the ground. Mounting the boxes on a tree is an easy option.

6.   If the box is on a post, protection from predators is necessary. Placing a plate or cone around the post will help keep the bats safe.

Bat boxes are an inexpensive, easy, environmentally friendly and sustainable way to control annoying pests by increasing the population of a beneficial predator. For additional help with construction or placement of bat boxes, contact your local game commission.

 

Northeast Region Agronomists:

David A. Oatis, regional director – doatis@usga.org

James E. Skorulski, agronomist – jskorulski@usga.org

Adam Moeller, agronomist – amoeller@usga.org

Elliott Dowling, agronomist – edowling@usga.org

Addison Barden, agronomist – abarden@usga.org

 

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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