Rachael Long, author and farm adviser with University of California Cooperative Extension in Yolo County, releases a Mexican free-tailed bat that was trapped in her mist net in a walnut orchard. The team had to hold the bats in pouches for about an hour until they defecated so they could collect the guano to determine whether the bats were eating the codling moths that damage apples, walnuts and pears. Courtesy photo
Rachael Long sets up a mist net in a walnut orchard to trap bats to evaluate whether they are feeding on codling moth, a key pest of apples, walnuts and pears. Ten percent of the bats that were trapped ate codling moth adults, as determined by collecting their guano and using DNA analysis to identify the pest. "This may not sound like a lot, but the walnut farmer has a colony of 3,000 bats, so that means they're eating at least 300 moths per night, which could be very significant in terms of helping to reduce codling moth pest pressure," Long says. Courtesy photo
"Gold Fever" is the first installment of Rachael Long's planned "Black Rock Desert Trilogy," which introduces youngsters to the world of bats. Courtsy photo

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