Bats - The Best Natural Pest Control
Despite their scary reputation, bats are a critical and harmless part of a healthy environment. Bats consume tons of insects every night � not bad considering the size of this tiny mammal. Bats are the only mammal that flies. They use an echolocation system to locate their prey and despite the myth, they are not blind, most have good eyesight. Some species of bats are important pollinators, which is critical for seed dispersal and plant regeneration. Female bats average only one birth a year, and because of this, populations have declined rapidly in some areas.
A few bat facts:
1. Bats can eat close to their own body weight in insects, more than 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour.
2. Bats never attack people, if they swirl down close to us, they are actually going after gnats or other insects.
3. Bats almost never cause rabies in humans, in the entire U.S., bats only account for a little over one case of human rabies each year.
4. There are no "vampire" bats in the U.S., and in the countries where they live, they usually prefer farm animals to human blood.
5. Many bats will return to the same nesting and hibernating sites every year, and some have been known to live for 30 years.
Installing bat houses on your property will help replace lost natural habitat and will provide pest control at the same time. You will find a great selection of Bat Houses here.
What You Need to Know About Installing Bat Houses
Bats need a warm location, approximately 10 hours of direct sunlight in cold climates, and only 6 hours of direct sunlight in the south and desert areas.
Bats prefer to be high in the sky, at least 12 feet up on a post or attached to the side of a building (protection from predators). You can install them on a tree trunk as long as there is sufficient sunlight and the house is not surrounded by branches.
Bats like to be near water, a backyard pond, swimming pool or stream will help attract them. Bats are adaptable to suburban sprawl. As long as most conditions are favorable they will make their home in many unusual locations.
Be sure to choose the color for your bat house that will work for your climate. Darker colors absorb more heat and should be used in the colder climates, lighter colors reflect heat and would be better suited for the southern and desert locations.