I just purchased a bat house for $2.00 at a neighborhood garage sale. What a bargain!
Why a bat house? For one thing, bats are a natural form of pest control: a single bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour. I’ve seen them flying around our pond at dusk, so I know they are already here.
Did you know that over 5 million bats have died from a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome? This disease has decimated bat colonies everywhere, which makes creating a bat habitat that much more important.
I’ll be the first to admit that bats freak me out a little bit, and I usually don’t have a problem with wild animals. We had to remove one a couple of years ago that came down our chimney, and I still remember those sharp little teeth, those wings that were really flaps of skin, and its dark onyx color. Creepy.
Bats are rabies carriers of course, but it turns out that a very low percentage of bats carry rabies. They also don’t live very long after they become infected. I’ve never heard of someone contracting it from a bat. In fact, there is a bridge in Austin, Texas that is home to almost a million bats; it is the largest urban bat colony in the U.S. and there has not been a single bat-biting incident.
Now I have to think about how I’m going to hang the bat house. I’ve been looking at some bat-house best practices which happen to be confirmed with statistical data. It turns out that a higher percentage of bats prefer their homes mounted on the sides of buildings or poles rather than a tree. They love being near water and in an area that gets adequate sunlight to warm up their homes. The bat house also needs to be around 20 feet high. I think I’m going to find some very large pieces of bamboo and mount the house on that. Currently I’m trying to find something long and thick enough. Pictures to come soon!