I live on a small island on the north coast of Honduras (Cayos Cochinos). We have an excellent zone 11 climate and can grow many heat-loving plants without problems, as long as we prepare a good soil. We have begun a small farm with many fruit trees, some fruits, and some vegetables. Our papaya trees took off and grew rapidly and began producing promising fruits. Unfortunately:
Once the fruits settled in, a horde of bats that live on the island swooped in and decimated EVERY leaf on over 75 papaya trees! They were in close proximity in a small valley, but every leaf was gone. The fruits were stunted as the plants used all energy to making new leaves. The leaves have re-grown over the past two months, but I am fearful of another sweep and having all leaves gone again.
Does anybody know of any methods to discourage the bats from eating the papaya leaves? I heard garlic may help, but am not sure how to use it or if it will work at all. I would like to avoid any chemicals or pesticides, as the rest of our crop is fertilizer and spray free! Thank you!