Bats In Your Belfry? October 23 2014
Maybe not such a good thing- but bats around your landscape are definitely a big plus; for you, for pollination, for natural insect control, bats are one of nature's miraculous mammals, and the only ones who fly!
October is actually bat appreciation month, proving just how important they are to the ecosystem. In general, folks despise them-mainly out of fear. The only really scary, blood-sucking ones (vampire bats) live in a range from Southern Mexico to South America, they do not reside in the US.
Crazy as it may sound, bats are closer to humans than many other mammals!
- Nurse their babies
- Warm blooded
- Thumb and 4 fingers (with skin stretched over arm & fingers)
- Smell, taste, feel and hear like humans
- Usually one baby at a time with occasional twins
Once again, real estate is becoming very scarce due to habitat loss. By planting native, providing water and offering shelter you'll entice and help these beneficial fliers.
Add an element of design to the landscape with a new bat house- there's some really cool ones in cedar, vinyl and recycled plastic. From single chamber to 5 chambers, bats will roost with just a few males in groups of 15-20, to whole colonies consisting of hundreds of bats.
Their house or shelter should be mounted high, at least 12 feet from the ground, with a clear path for entry. An existing structure or tree is suitable, with a southeast exposure for steady heat retention.
An older blog post touches on the plight bats face with the devastating disease known as white nose syndrome.
For more thorough info and commonly asked questions about hosting and helping bats, visit http://batconservation.org/help/backyards/troubleshooting/