I was introduced to bats, up close and personal, last year at a cookout. Paul, the homeowner and bat enthusiast, showed us his two bat houses at the perimeter of his suburban yard. When I aimed the flashlight directly above into one of the bat houses, I could see a large family of bats. There were probably 30 or so bats hanging upside-down looking all cute…well, as cute as bats can look.
Photo courtesy of Paul Franklin.
At dusk, Paul had us watching the sky in the general vicinity of the bat houses. One by one the bats dove out of their house and up in the air for their nightly feeding. Paul and his wife commented how mosquito bites are a thing of the past for them, thanks to the bats’ diet.
When my husband and I left the party I had an armful of bat-related items for my own place:
- A bat magazine,
- A bat house (Paul makes them), and
- A Tupperware container of guano (bat droppings)… read on to see why.
[I told his wife I’d be sure to get the Tupperware back to her.]
He gave me the guano to apply to the base of the bat house so bats would smell it and know the bat house is a safe place to nest.
We’ll be hanging the bat house this spring and patiently awaiting the gradual arrival of our new “neighbors”. Since we occasionally see bats flying around our house, I’m hoping that will help expedite the move-in process.
In case you’re wondering why in the world I’d want bats “hanging” around my house, here are some good reasons, and reasons why you might want to do the same:
- MOSQUITOS – Do you need MORE reasons than that?!
According to Bat Conservation International in their Intro to Bats, “A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night.” Okay…the “mosquito-sized” insects are not ALL mosquitos, but they are part of that 1,000 insect nightly diet. Now that’s my kind of insect zapper.
- The bats provide you with FREE plant fertilizer – all in a neat, compact pile directly below the bat house.
- The bats are a lot of fun to watch and, if you have kids (especially boys), watching them fly out of their house provides a great evening activity for the whole family.
- They’re a wonderful non-conventional “pet” that provides their own food – no need for budgeting pet food in the family grocery budget!
- It’s another way to feel surrounded by nature (not that I shouldn’t ALREADY feel that way living in the woods).
- Some bats are excellent pollinators.
So… do I now have you thinking about attracting bats to your back yard?PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.