About 100 bats have begun their annual visit to Orange.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said he had spotted the colony in trees on Ploughmans Lane.
"They were flying in quite large numbers," he said.
The arrival of the bats will concern orchardists with the cherry harvest ready to start.
Grower Guy Gaeta said the first bats had been seen near his Nashdale property.
"Apparently they were flying around the top of our orchard last night," he said on Monday.
Mr Gaeta said orchardists needed to put netting over the fruit to try to protect it from the hungry bats.
"We've got about 10 acres already covered. We need to cover another 20 acres," he said.
Mr Gaeta said farmers were waiting on the state government to allocate about $2 million of money to help them buy netting.
He said the money had been allocated by the federal government but so far the state government has not signed off on the deal.
"[That] $2 million would virtually cover everybody," he said.
Mr Gaeta said he was ready to start harvesting the first of this year's cherries once Monday's wet weather cleared up.
He said after years of drought this year's crop was looking good.
"They are the best they have looked for the last three years," he said.
Last year the first bats were spotted in Orange in the same location on Ploughmans Lane in early December.
The numbers increased in March as the bats fled bushfire-devastated areas along the coast.
They caused problems for apple growers in the region as they sought the fruit.
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