Recently my wife asked how soon could i build a bat house for the yard. Of all the things my wife could ask for, a place for bats to live in our yard would never have made my list. When I asked her why she would want such a house she said “Bats eat mosquitoes. ” Oh yes they do!
A single brown bat can eat up hundreds of mosquitoes … in a single hour! And a single bat colony can have hundreds of bats. For such a service, bats only ask for a place to live and to be left alone.
A quick search of the internet yields many different designs. Any of them can make a perfect weekend project. The Bat Conservation International has the best instructions, and they are free. Or in the interest of time you can purchase a bat house from a local woodworker like I did.
Next the bat house needs to be mounted high in the air. The best place would be on a tall tree away from buildings and fifteen feet off the ground. I had stack a couple 4X4 posts to get mine as high as possible. To help protect my bats, i wrapped the post with roof flashing so preditors cannot climb up and get them.
Finally you wait. Any bat house has a one in six chance of attracting a bat colony in a single month. This waiting is proving to be the hardest part. Every time i slap a mosquito, i wonder how much longer until they move in.
Bats have a poor reputation that is undeserved. They do not fly into someone’s hair except in the movies. They do not want to suck your blood. They only want to be left alone and to eat as many annoying insects as possible. I am certainly willing to make that deal with them.