Benefits of attracting bats
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Benefits of attracting bats

Jul 19, 2023

Are you interested in attracting bats? They seem to have a bad reputation. They have some great benefits.

According to Bat Conservation International a colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 18 million or more rootworms each summer. Bat droppings in caves support whole ecosystems of unique organisms, including bacteria useful in detoxifying wastes, improving detergents, and producing gasohol and antibiotics. Gasohol is a mixture of gasoline and ethyl alcohol.

If you can spot a bat at dusk on occasion, then it is a strong possibility there are other bats in the area. In that case, a bat house will attract the bats. According to Bat Conservation International, the box needs to be 10 feet above ground in an open area orientated south-southwest. According to the Nebraska Extension, 16 feet off the ground with 20-30 feet of open flight space with minimal human disturbance is recommended. Overall, the bat box needs to receive seven hours of direct sun. If you happen to already have bats in a structure on the property, then place the bat box right on the structure for two seasons. The seven hours of sunlight is essential in this case. After two seasons, the bat box can be placed several hundred feet from the structure on a pole.

A couple other facts about placement are that bats need water. If there is a stream or pond nearby that is ideal. Place the box with 1,500 feet of the stream or pond. If there is a forest area or grove of trees, place the bat box within 30 feet of the trees. Besides water and protection, bats need insects and having a diverse habitat will increase the different types of insect activity throughout the season.

Bats enjoy more than insects for food. They like fruit. This includes grapes, avocados, dates, mangoes, and bananas.

There are several sources to find instructions for bat house designs. Here a couple of links: and

Bats are mammals that hibernate for five to six months. They arouse in March and go to their summer roosts in April. Each female bat gives birth to one or two pups in late May and/or early June. According to Penn State Extension, bats do not destroy property with chewing or gnawing. Their droppings leave behind quite an odor. Eventually, their droppings make great compost.

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