Fun Stuff

Bat Houses

It is official – bats are making a comeback! Popular television shows may help make bats cool, but we can thank Mother Nature for making bats amazing by design.  In recent years, bats have shed their negative reputation and are being embraced for what they truly are – beneficial creatures that play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature.

small brown bat sitting on branch (isolated)According to Utah’s Deseret News,  Bat Conservation International (BCI) can be credited with shedding light on this mammal and its contribution to ecosystems.  Few mammals are as misunderstood as bats, which help humans by consuming vast quantities of insects that can be harmful, such as agricultural pests and even West Nile carrying mosquitoes.  Bats are also sensitive to high pollution and pesticide levels, and thus are useful as a warning sign to potential environmental problems, explains Bat Conservation International.  BCI has decreased bat persecution through education and encouragement of projects such as ‘bat houses’ which have become increasingly popular devices at private residences.

bat houseBat houses are boxes set in high places (poles, trees) that act as homes for bat populations, whose natural roosts are in danger due to human activity.  Successful bat houses require patience, and a realization of basic facts including that most bats prefer to eat moths rather than mosquitos.  Really, the two main reasons for putting up a bat house are to help conservation and because it’s cool to have a bat house.

If you decide to house these helpful mammals, you’ll benefit by avoiding the commercially marketed bat houses sold at malls and instead, making one yourself.  Bat Conservation International explains that the odds of attracting bats are very good for well-built bat houses that have proper insulation.  However, perseverance and a willingness to experiment are musts when creating prime bat real estate, as it may take several seasons to attract permanent tenants.  With the right design, a little patience and the willingness to learn, you too can play a pivotal role in helping bats flourish.

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