Going Batty

October 27, 2015

Bat House

While the thought of bats flying around gives some people the creeps, bats are actually very beneficial. They control populations of unwanted insects, such as mosquitos, and some even help to pollinate plants.

Unfortunately, the loss of habitat has made it difficult for bats to find roosts, and in turn, their dwindling numbers can lead to a rise in the insects bats keep under control. So, what can retailers do to help bats and, in turn, help their communities? Offer bat houses. By installing bat houses, homeowners can draw bats to their properties, thereby gaining the natural insect control bats provide.

Tips to share with customers for installing a bat house:

  • Install bat houses on the side of a building or on a high post to encourage bats to take up residence and discourage possible predators like cats, raccoons and snakes.
  • If a house must be on a tree, clear away limbs that may interfere with exiting bats and install a barrier to deter predators.
  • Make certain the bat house has sealed joints and a roughed-up interior. Unlike birds, which build nests for their young, bats do not, and need draft-free nesting spots. Additionally, bats like to wedge themselves into small spaces, so the interior needs to be rough or have netting for them to cling to.

While ready-made bat houses are convenient to sell, kits and scratch-built houses can offer the retailer an opportunity for community outreach, bringing in young customers or families interested in a project day.

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