Bats eat the same insects that would otherwise interrupt your backyard birding pleasure. Therefore, they are the best friend of the backyard birder. Not only do they eat their body weight in insects, approximately 600 or more insects every hour, but they also help pollinate, and produce guano, an excellent fertilizer.
A bat house is like organic bug control because no pesticides are needed to keep the pests off your plants. Add a water source nearby for the whole colony to drink from, which will also help keep the mom near her young. Once bats find a new roost, they will loyally return for years as a place to stay and raise their young.
Because bats are accustomed to living in colonies, a secure and undisturbed roosting spot is an excellent way to nurture the healthy growth of an entire colony of bats. Bat shelters mounted against a house retain heat better than those mounted elsewhere and are less accessible to predators. An area with 20 feet of open space in front of the shelter provides easy access for the bats and the house may be left up year-round.
Based on information reported to the Organization for Bat Conservation, successful bat houses are painted brown, black, or left au naturel; mounted 15-18 feet above the ground, and placed in a sunny spot where it can receive 10 hours or more of direct sunlight. Following these guidelines ensures the house maintains the necessities for bats to survive.
Bat houses are often considered “no maintenance.” But it’s still a good idea to check each house once a season for wear and tear; if the wood is warped, then it’s not as warm or secure anymore and should be repaired or replaced.
Bats can live to be 30 years old, yet they only birth one pup a year. Help bats ease into retirement by giving them everything they need to survive with shelter and water. Their low birth rate makes them more prone to extinction, so make a point to support the bats in your area. Shop bat houses at Duncraft.com.
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