Mother Earth Living

The Good Life

All things Mother Earth Living

Add to My MSN

Mosquito Problems? Bring on the Bats

7/15/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: bats, natural pest control, natural insect control

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailWhen I was a kid, bats would occasionally fly into our house through the fireplace. My brother and his friends chased them around with tennis rackets. Fortunately, they had bad aim.

We just didn’t know then that those mosquito-eating bats were our friends. One little brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night—and they have no interest in attacking us or our pets. If you have a mosquito problem or just want to diversify your backyard wildlife, consider inviting in bats with a bat house. Here’s what you need to know, from “Bats in Your Belfry: Make Your Home Bat-Friendly” in Natural Home & Garden.

bat 

Photo by Merlin Tuttle/Bat Conservation International 

• Look for Bat Conservation International’s seal of approval before buying or building a bat house. This nonprofit group’s website, BatCon.org, lists certified houses, do-it-yourself plans and climate-specific tips.

• Bats like it hot. Select a sunny, dry spot for the bat house. Cover the exterior with several coats of dark, water-based paint to raise the inside temperature.

• Mount houses at least 12 to 15 feet high on a building or sturdy poles. The front should face the sun and have an open fly zone.

• Don’t get discouraged if your house goes unused. Try relocating or repainting vacant houses after a year or so.

• Expect seasonal visits; many bats winter elsewhere. Spring may attract nursing mothers.

• Larger designs (more than 2 feet tall) and multiple houses increase occupancy chances.

• If you’re building your own, use exterior-grade plywood or wood (avoid pressure-treated lumber).

bat house 

Photo by Mark and Selina Kiser/Bat Conservation International 

 



Related Content

Product Review: AmazonLights

The essential oils in AmazonLights' products create powerful insect repellents.

Bats in Your Belfry: Make Your Home Bat-Friendly

Consider backyard bats to help keep mosquitoes and other pests out of your neighborhood.

Take Control of Aphids with Ladybugs

Ladybugs are a simple, cheap and effective means of destroying an aphid infestation that just won't ...

Keep Your Showerheads Green Clean

A new study finds that showerheads contain high levels of disease-causing bacteria.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.