While many people don't like bats, having bats around your yard and garden are very beneficial for a variety of reasons.

One of the best reasons for having bats occupy your yard is that a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes and other insects in a single night. Ridding your yard of pesky disease-carrying insects not only increases your enjoyment of the outdoors but can lessen the impact of bugs destroying your flowers and vegetables.

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Another reason to attract bats to your yard and garden is that they provide pollination. They feed on native fruits, so having fruiting shrubs in your landscape is essential. While they eat, flitting from bush to flowers to fruit and back again, pollination takes place. Bats feed at night so planting night blooming flowers like evening primrose, cleome, moonflower and others helps provide for their needs.

So how does one attract bats to live around your home and garden? First, in the early spring or summer, you can install a bat house that you can purchase at local hardware stores or order online. Plans for making a bat house can also be found online or books at the library. Positioning your bat house quite high (15 to 20 feet) and facing your yard will provide them easy access to the area where you wish to attract them. The house should also be placed well away from a light source.

Providing a water source that is easily accessible near where they roost is crucial to their habitat. If a natural water source isn't available, a large birdbath or artificial pond works well. A children's shallow swimming pool could also be used.

These are the essentials for bats to survive and thrive in and around your garden and home.