Bats Put the Bite on Mosquitoes

in Yard & Garden

early riser by thievingjoker CC BY-SA 2.0 Are you afraid of bats?

Don’t want them anywhere near you, your kids or your yard?

You might want to think twice about vilifying these beneficial flying friends.

Because a single bat can eat 500 – 1000 mosquitoes an hour.

I was reminded about the benefits and the bad reputation that follows these mosquito eaters recently while researching a guest post I wrote on natural pest control for Buildipedia.com  -“Natural Pest Control: Benefits of Bat Houses”. I suggest you give it a read.

Besides my recent research, I’ve had real-life experience with bats right here at Stonehaven – there were hundreds of them living in the eaves when we moved in 18 years ago.

You want bats flying in the yard – not nesting in the house.

So what did we do?

We called someone who knew what to do. Dean specializes in chemical-free pest control. That sounded right up our alley. He came over one evening just before dusk when the bats start coming out to feed. He walked around the house and pointed out several different place where you could see bats flying out – silhouetted against the darkening sky.

He laid out his plan of attack and gave us a quote. We said OK, do it.

From your house to bat houses

sealing-cracks-at-night-while-bats-are-ou-feeding The idea is to discourage the bats from living in your house and to provide suitable roosting boxes nearby so they’ll stick around and keep the mosquito population down in your yard.

Here are the steps:

1. Build or buy a bathouse

You want to have suitable accomodations ready for them to move into. You can learn how to build a bathouse, where to locate it, or get plans at batconservation.org.

2. Install the bathouses

Bathouses need to be about 15 feet above the ground and preferably in a sunny location for warmth.

3. Bat exclusion

Exclusion consists of sealing all the cracks and crevices bats use to get into your house with caulk. Since you don’t want to trap bats inside, you need to do this at night while the bats are out feeding. This may have to be done over a period of several nights, depending on how many entry points you have.

Late summer is best

Bats bear their young in early summer so don’t try to exclude them from your home until the pups are old enough to accompany their parents on feeding flights. Usually mid to late August is the earliest you should do it, depending on your specific location.

 



Both of these Bat Houses are approved by the Organization for Bat Conservation

 

Bat Image: thievingjoker

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