Bats have gotten a particularly bad rap thanks to old-time monster movies, but did you know that bats are an important part of our ecosystem? It’s true! And the primary benefit for us is that on average, a single bat can capture 500 to 1,000 mosquitos an hour!

In order to encourage bats onto your property, they’ll need a place to say. You can easily build your own bat house that can hold from one dozen to more than 100 bats depending on your needs, available space and carpentry skills.

Before building your bat house, consider the space available. To create favorable conditions, the internal bat house temperature should be between 27 and 38 degrees Celsius and have at least six hours of direct daily sun. Bat houses should be mounted on buildings or poles as these provide the best protection against predators. Also, be sure to mount them at least 12 feet above the ground, though 15 to 20 feet is preferred. Don’t place a bat house in a location lit by bright lights. Ideally, houses should have a water source close by. Open-bottom houses greatly reduce problems with birds, mice, squirrels or parasites entering the house.

Little_Brown_Bat_FWS

Ready to start building? There are several commercial bat house kits available on the market that contain pre-cut wood and only require assembly. If you would like to build your very own bat house, detailed instructions can be found on Bat Conservation International’s website. Click the link below to download.

http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/SingleChamberBHPlans.pdf

And click the following links to read and watch news stories from WESH 2 and WKMG Local 6 speaking to the benefits of bat houses: they feature the Science Center’s own, Tim Walsh, Manager of NatureWorks!


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