For Mother's Day I finally got something I have wanted for a really long time, a Bat House. Yes, you read that right, an actual house that will attract bats so they come to live in our yard. You are probably asking yourself why anyone would want to have bats in their yard and I am going to tell you why.
A single bat can eat up to 1, 000 mosquitos in an hour and are the primary predators to night flying insects, that's why. I live in the South and no matter how much we spray, we can never seem to get rid of the mosquitos. I also do not like to use too many chemicals in our yard because I have children and pets that play out there so I am always looking for more natural alternatives. That's were bats and bat houses come in. Contrary to urban legends and myths, bats are actually very clean animals and do not attack people or other animals. A single bat house can hold up to 100 bats. So if you have 100 bats eating 1, 000 mosquitos every hour every night, that's alot of pest protection. They are already naturally occurring around my property anyway so why not encourage them to put down some roots and stay a while? The first place they will go out and protect, will be the closest location to their home so having a place for them to live makes sense.
The house I received is made of premium red cedar so it is naturally weather resistant. It is 13 inches tall and 7 1/2 inches wide which is what bats prefer over short and wide houses. Inside the box there are 3 divided chambers that measures only 1 inch each which is the perfect size since bats like tight quarters. Each divider board has rows of grooves on them so that the bats have a place to hold on to when they are nesting in the box. The house also came with all the mounting hardware needed to install it.
We are currently scouting out the perfect location to install our house. Bats prefer locations that are at least 15 feet off the ground, get 7 hours of morning sun each day to maintain the house at 80-100 degrees and need a location where they can fly into the house unobstructed. As soon as we determine what location meets all these needs we will put it up and wait for results. It can take several years to fully populate the house with a colony of bats so results are not immediate when you install a bat house. I am very excited to get the process started though and will post results as soon as I have them.
Update On Aug 10, 2008: Well today I had my first confirmed bat moved into the house. I heard a thump on my bedroom window this morning and looked out to see a small brown bat on the screen. He moved down the screen to a spider that was sitting in a web there and quickly did his job and ate him. He then sat there for a moment while I went and grabbed my camera and hung out long enough for me to get some pictures which I have added to this review. He then flew off and over to the tree where the bat house is and disappeared inside. We were all very excited.