Much as bats may spook us, we need them around. According to Bat Conservation International
, bats consume about 1,200 mosquito-sized insects an hour; some species of bats disperse seeds, pollinate plants, and feed on beetles that destroy crops.
Still, that doesn't mean I wanted bats camped out in my attic, even if it is an unfinished, unused space, and even if the barge boards of our Carpenter Gothic house do feature cutouts of what can only be described as bats in flight. In anticipation of beefing up the insulation in the attic, I first had to remove the bats along with the old insulation that they had polluted. Because bats are valuable (and protected by law in some states) and at risk from a new plague, White Nose Syndrome, extermination and the use of pesticides against bats are illegal.