Bat Houses for Integrated Pest Management-- Benefits for Bats and Organic Farmers: Phase I

The first objective of this study (Phase I) was to establish four bat houses (two pairs each of a proven nursery design) at 10 organic farms in California and Utah. Larger, experimental designs were to be installed at five of these sites for testing purposes. Data from the North American Bat House Research Project shows that pairs or groups of houses are more successful than single houses. Rachael Long, co-investigator and Farm Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, was to select organic farm cooperators in Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, Colusa, Sonoma, and San Joaquin Counties in Californiaís Central Valley. She had previously experimented with bat houses in the area, and had already worked with a number of farmers in these counties. Originally, one farm in Utah had been targeted based upon previous interest. Once a large number of the bat houses become occupied (some take two years or more), the second objective (Phase II) will be to determine the degree of impact that bat house-roosting bats have in reducing crop pests.