You might be surprised at just how beneficial attracting bats to your backyard and garden can be.
To many homeowners, bats are far from a welcome creature.
Maybe it was an unwelcome visit inside of their house. Or perhaps a memory or two of bat flitting about in an old horror movie.
Whatever the cause for concern, one thing is for sure – bats certainly don’t deserve the bad rap they are often saddled with.
In fact, truth be told, bats are one of the most helpful mammals you can have living in your landscape.
The Benefits Of Attracting Bats To Your Landscape
Bats are one of the best methods of natural insect control around.
How good? Most bats will eat the equivalent of half their body weight in insects every night. Even more if they happen to be taking care of young ones at home.
For bats, that translates to hundreds of insects every hour, and thousands per evening.
What’s even better, especially for gardeners, is they devour many common garden pests too. Pests that can decimate vegetable crops like cabbage worms, hornworms, slugs, and even cucumber beetles.
But for avid gardeners, there is also one additional and very important reason to keep bats around – pollination!
Bats And Pollination
Believe it or not, bats play a major role in pollinating plants. In fact, next to bees, they are the second most valuable pollinator alive. See : How To Attract Pollinators
Using the same sound wave technology they empower to find insects, bats can find blooms and nectar. Especially when it comes to plants with blooms that are hard for birds and bees to reach.
In fact, when it comes to the Agave plant, they are almost exclusively pollinated by bats. Think of that the next time you are sipping on a Margarita!
How To Attract Bats To Your Landscape
So now that it is established bats are actually good to have around, let’s take a look at the best method to attract them to your landscape.
Believe it or not, attracting bats to live and work in your landscape can be as simple as installing a bat house. With that said, the key to success is choosing the right design, and locating it in the right space.
Bat House Design
Bat houses are actually quite simple in their construction.
To attract bats, the house needs to have a grooved or “roughed-up” interior surface. This allows an edge for the bats to grab on to.
Bat houses are slim by design. Most are between one and a half and two inches in depth. This keeps the bats secure, and allows for warmth in the nesting house.
Although bat houses are quite easy to make, there are quite a few inexpensive options on the market as well. See : Kenley Bat House
Installing A Bat House
How and where you install your bat house makes all the difference when it comes to attracting bats.
Bat houses should be at least 10 to 12 feet off the ground. This height is needed both for security and for the bats to leave and enter the nest.
And although it might seem like a good idea, don’t place your bat house in shady areas. Bats like warm temperatures, so houses need to be located where they can receive a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.
Installing your house on a long pole, or high up against a building wall is the best choice. Many choose to locate their bat house on a tree trunk, which is not always a good idea. Locating the house on trunks can allow access for predators to enter and destroy the colony.
One final note on installing a bat house in your backyard. Contrary to popular belief, a bat house will not attract more bats to look for a home inside of your house.
In fact, providing them with a home outdoors actually makes it LESS likely they will search for other places to stay.
Here’s to attracting bats to your backyard and enjoying the benefits these amazing tiny mammals can bring!
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