Getting rid of skeeters by using bats....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PAChickenChick, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Ok, so I've seen threads about skeeters here and a good bit of people have said Bats are the best and most natural way to rid yourself of them.

    My question is two fold....

    1- How do I go about starting a Bat community? I gather that a Bat House is needed but how do I get the bats to come to it?

    2- Assuming the bats come....do I need to do anything more to care for them and do I need to be leary of possibly upsetting the natural balance of my area by having them here?

    I was under the impression that increasing the bat population in an area they are not in already might increase the chance of other domestic pets getting bit and contracting Rabies.

    Anyone who either knows these answers or can point me in the right direction to find them out....that would be great [​IMG]
     
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Bats are so cool & you shouldn't worry about "upsetting a balance" - you're resetting it, more likely!

    Try this link for more info
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/2007-07-01/Beat-Mosquitoes-with-Bats.aspx

    I once read about how to make a bat "house" out of old carpet hung in the rafters. You could google that, probably. Just make sure that whereever you place your bat house isn't above something you value. Guano is sticky, nasty stuff, I'm told.
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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  4. happyhen

    happyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeastern Ohio
    We have a fairly good bat colony where I live, so we neither encourage nor discourage them. But a guy DH works with found a bat in his house (yea, they can find their way in), and he, his wife, toddler and infant had to have the series of rabies shots. Painful! I guess you can't even feel them bite you, especially when asleep.

    Just something to think about before encouraging them. :|
     
  5. Cassandra

    Cassandra Ranger Rick

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    From someone who has had bats!

    I'm not sure what you do to attract them. They have just BEEN at several places where I have lived. Out in the country, I remember them hanging out around the street lights chasing the moths that frequented there. We only ever saw them at night. And we would have fun, throwing up small rocks in the air and watching them swoop down for them.

    My parents lived in an older house in town for a long time and had a family of bats in the attic that came every spring. I don't know exactly how many of them there were. At dusk, you could see them flying in and out of the roof-peak vents (whatever those are called.) Obviously you don't want them in there. That should have been screened off, but it wasn't. And they never bothered to do it and the bats just kept coming back.

    They never caused much of a problem for my parents except leaving poop droppings in the yard where they flew out of the house. The area would be covered with it on mornings when the bats were really active. Plus, I'm sure they really mucked up the attic. It was a rent house and no one ever went up there.

    If you keep the screens in place on that part of your house, you can avoid that problem.

    Two other things I will mention: The bats seemed to do nothing whatsoever to help the mosquito problem. Now, we are in Mississippi and have a much longer mosquito season than in PA (if that's where you are.) So, I imagine we'd need a LOT of bats to eat a tenth of the mosquitoes. They may be of more help in your area.

    The other thing is, if you do get them and decide you don't want them, you can't just get rid of them. My mom had me call an exterminator one time to find out how she could get rid of them. (She hated the poop in her yard.) They told me you'd have to hire a wildlife expert to collect them and remove them to an environment that was friendly for them. However, from reading, I learned that if you remove their houses (and restrict their access to areas that would make good houses for them) they will mostly just leave on their own.

    [​IMG]

    Cassandra
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I've built a few bat houses over the years although I don't have any on this current property. There's not much you can do to attract them other than provide adequate housing. Bat houses are made of layers wood that provide crevices for the bats to nest in, they need to be up in an area that provides proper temperatures, and they need to be put fairly high.

    Check this website for info: http://www.batcon.org

    They have pages on building bat houses.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Barn swallows and purple martins are supposed to be good mosquito eaters....maybe an attractive purple martin house instead? No worries about them getting in your house.... [​IMG]
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Sorry, I guess I didn't answer your questions...

    Other than providing housing there isn't much you can do to attract them. You don't need to do anything to care for them, they will just live there and come and go as they please. I wouldn't worry about any increase in rabies, any bats that choose to live in your bat house are in the area anyways...
     
  9. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    Mac is right from everything I've read..unfortunately I never have good luck attracting them to live here! I know their bat house needs the morning sun and needs to be really high in the air and all the crevices insides yada yada yada..just don't like motel scrambled egg I guess....the pterydactyl misquitos do though!!
     
  10. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I had lots of bats in my large, four-houses-with three-compartments-each bat house on a twenty-two foot pole. They all returned this spring, but we had so many nights in a row of rain and thunderstorms that the bats could not find insects of any kind, and the all starved. I truly feel awful about losing my entire colony.
     

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