fruit bats and paw paw growing

desman

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Hi guys, does anyone have any special tips for growing paw paw in fruit bat areas? I know I know bats are important ecologically. Then you grow paw paw and they start to get on your nerves :). I can manage them with other fruits like bananas or avos using bags or nets. But paw paws are hard to net tightly (so they don't injure the bats) and can't be bagged. I love paw paw but stopped growing them as the bats always make a mess of them before I can pick them. Any one have any solutions, other than picking before they ripen (which isn't ideal and doesn't always stop the local bats in my area)?
I found another thread on SSM that suggests some sacrificial paw paws worked for them. That hasn't worked for me - they'll just eat every paw paw on the tree and before they're ripe. I also grow a lot of natives on my garden edges which attract the bats - I'm happy to have them visit. Just want some fresh paw paw now and then.
 

Grandmother Goose

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Would you be able to put a mesh net like bird netting over the entire tree? All it would take is to make it difficult enough for the bats to decide that some other fruit from elsewhere is going to be more efficient for them to eat instead.
 

desman

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Yeah that’s a good idea Grandmother goose. My only concern with that is if the net is too lose the bats get tangled and injure themselves. I tried it once in a paw paw and because the leaves are flexible and break off easily I couldn’t tighten the net without snapping off the leaves or fruit. Our dogs have caught a few bats in the past and it’s very unsettling to see a bat with an injured wing - often they need to be put down.

I wondered if I could jig up a contraption that has a ring that goes around the tree to attach a net too so the net can be made tort. But that seems like a lot of work. Maybe I can’t see the forest for the trees and there’s a simpler solution. I see a lot of paw paw trees in the local nursery and peoples yards around my area. So perhaps I’m missing something
 

Mandy Onderwater

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I've heard people suggest something called geo-textile. They'd wrap it around the fruit. I'm sadly inexperienced in this myself :eek:
 

Grandmother Goose

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Yeah that’s a good idea Grandmother goose. My only concern with that is if the net is too lose the bats get tangled and injure themselves. I tried it once in a paw paw and because the leaves are flexible and break off easily I couldn’t tighten the net without snapping off the leaves or fruit. Our dogs have caught a few bats in the past and it’s very unsettling to see a bat with an injured wing - often they need to be put down.

I wondered if I could jig up a contraption that has a ring that goes around the tree to attach a net too so the net can be made tort. But that seems like a lot of work. Maybe I can’t see the forest for the trees and there’s a simpler solution. I see a lot of paw paw trees in the local nursery and peoples yards around my area. So perhaps I’m missing something
Maybe a really large or ringed version of this might help?
 
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