[Market-farming] Bats for cucumber beetles

Tradingpost tradingpost at lobo.net
Thu Nov 30 14:29:04 EST 2006

One of the most intriguing and surprising bits of information I've seen on
this list to date.  Reminds me, we've seen bats here in central NM in the
evenings. Will bat houses encourage them to dine here more?

paul tradingpost at lobo.net

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. 
--Henry David Thoreau 

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On 11/29/2006 at 1:04 PM Steve Diver wrote:

>The basic approach is "build it and they will come".
>I know farmers that erect bat houses as one the pillars
>of farmscaping for biological insect control.
>There might be an interesting correlation to
>high altitude bats and high altitute cucumber
>beetles, flying on air currents.
>Spotted cuke beetles overwinter in the South,
>then migrate into northern states. 
>One study showed that spotted cuke beetles can
>travel 500 miles in 3 or 4 days by high-altitude air
>Same thing with corn earworms. The numbers
>of corn earworms flying up from South Texas
>and Mexico are astronomical.
>Many studies have showed bats feed
>on corn earworms, etc, at high altitudes. 
>If you calculate the potential larva control for
>striped cucumber beetle, the numbers are even
>Spotted cuke beetles lay 200-300 eggs per
>female and striped cuke beetles lay as many
>as 1500 eggs per female.   These are laid in
>clusters over a period of several weeks.
>Cuke beetles are strong fliers and move from
>field to field.  So bats can also catch them at
>lower levels, swooping around with echolocation.
>Steve Diver

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