You might have seen these strange looking boxes on Pinterest or Facebook and wondered what kind of strange bird used such a flat house? Then you looked closer and realized they were bat houses. As in HOUSES for BATS!
Perhaps you never thought about a bat house as a Christmas gift, but perhaps you should!
Don’t freak out! Bats are nothing like they are portrayed in the movies. They aren’t dangerous, they won’t get caught in your hair, and they are super good for you and your family. Seriously, they are. Keep reading.
Why Bats Are SO Important
Most people are not aware that bats eat upwards of 1,000 insects each night (depending on the species, of course, some eat much more). This means fewer mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other biting insects.
This means that, not only can we use fewer insecticides or insect repellants, bats can help to prevent the diseases that these biting insects can pass along. Fewer bugs and less disease, wow. That sounds like a bargain, doesn’t it?
Bats are also, depending on the ecosystem, important for the pollination of plants. In fact, some plants are entirely dependent on bats to either pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds. Some plants that depend on bats would be dates, figs, mangoes, and bananas.
Still other bats eat the insects that tend to damage crops. That means by letting bats do our work for us, we can use fewer pesticides on our food. Everyone would agree that this is a good thing!
Bats are also considered to be “indicator species”. This means that changes in bat populations can predict changes in aspects of biodiversity.
By the way, let’s not forget about bat poop, which is called guano. This is super beneficial for plants. You can find bat guano for sale in almost every nursery in the world. Bat guano contains tons of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphates, which plants love.
Last but not least, did you know that a compound extracted from bat saliva has been turned into an anticoagulant drug that is used on those who have suffered a stroke?
There are so many good things that bats can offer us!
OK, now you are saying “That’s fine, but why don’t they just find a nice cave or a tree trunk to sleep in?” Good question.
Why Bat Houses Are Important
Unfortunately, many natural bat habitats have been destroyed or access has been closed off. By putting up a few bat houses around your property, you can offer bats a safe place to sleep during the day and a nice place to raise their young. This also gives bats a better place to live that they will prefer to your attic! In turn, bats will keep your yard free from most insects and provide you with free fertilizer!
Contrary to popular belief, bats don’t carry rabies since they don’t come into contact with other mammals. They also won’t fly into your hair (unless you put your head directly under the box) and they won’t bother your kids or pets.
You can find tons of information about how to build your own bat house and where to place it, online. Or, if you aren’t the handy type, you can buy them premade.
Check out a short video of bats living inside a bat house, check out this short video
We hope you will consider putting up a bat house (or two) in your backyard.