bat house

runningtrailsFebruary 18, 2009

I made a bat house! I posted the DIY on my farm blog. It was fun. I'm going to do a cold frame made with a patio door, also, when the ground thaws.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Farm Blog

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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I'm glad to see that you built a bat house, but I don't see how they are going to land on it and get in.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Wonderful bat house! The bats will move in if they have any sense at all!
We have two bat houses--still waiting for occupants. We used hardware cloth for the "roughness" that the bats need to cling to, and were told by a Texas Parks and Wildlife bat expert (how's THAT for a job!) that we shouldn't be discouraged if bats don't move in. He suggested raising or lowering the house 1' to see if the bats liked that flight pattern better.
And don't worry--bats don't "perch" and they will find their way in the underside of the house. We reused old wood from frugality, but we were glad to hear we did the right thing. Let us know when you get occupants.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:28PM
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You been busy again I see...Good job girl. as Marlin said play around with the height. You will get them. MOSQUITOES BE GONE!!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:10PM
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I like bats too! No more mosquitoes!

I have read that 15-20' high is ideal. I'll keep trying. Thanks for the encouragement. I hope they use it this summer.

They don't use a perch. Anything, like tree branches, that interfers with their swooping into the nest will prevent it from being used.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:50PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I has under the impression that they liked to land on a flat open and textured surface then crawl up into the nest and hold on at night. I used to tutor a student who designed and manufactured bat houses for the local wild life bureaucracy and when I asked him about it he told me the key to having your bat house used was to extend the back down several inches with some sort of netting or hardware cloth on it for them to hold on. It is certainly possible that he and I both do not understand how bats enter their homes, if anyone has a video or illustration of the procedure they use I would be most interested in seeing it, thanks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Runningtrails Are you going to make more bat houses? I found a link that might be helpful.

I was looking at a house one time to buy and I happened to look up in the attic and there was bunches of bats hanging in the eaves AND there was a layer of their dung about 3 freaking feet deep. It was disgusting. I liked the house and the property but I had to turn that house down. Now I find out if you have bats in the attic the health dept will remove them if they (the bats) have a way to get in the house because it is a health hazard. GREAT! NOW THEY TELL ME!! I tried to find the pictures to show you but I can not find them anywhere.

Anyway I hope the tips in the link helps.

Oh and I like what bats do BUT I do not like them. They scare the crap out of me. I might need to make me some bat houses too though because I have too many mosquitoes. This stream attracts them like crazy so if I have to choose which one sticks around I would prefer the bats hands down.

Here is a link that might be useful: bat tips

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:24PM
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The key to getting bats to use a bathouse is sprinkling fresh bat poop on the ground below it. Find someone with bats in their barn or attic and ask for a sample. When they stop laughing, scoop away and spread the love.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:28AM
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I wondered how to attract bats to a bat house. I hung one per the instructions I've read and no bats. I do have bats behind the shutters on the front of my house. So maybe this spring/summer I'll see if I can get some fresh bat poop from the front of the house and spread it under the bat house on the front of the shed.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:10PM
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Many bats are seasonal, so you may not have them hanging around in the winter. They opt for nice warm caves in the winter.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:43PM
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I'm glad you like my bat house, I usre hope the bats do! I'm going to block their access to the place they have nested for two summers but I don't want to lose the bats!

Mine are only here in the warm months. If they are happy behind your shutters, they will probably return there to nest every year. You may need to block their access to it before they will look for somewhere else.

I'll ask around for some bat guano.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:16PM
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be careful handling that stuff. it can be dangerous

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I don't think I'm going to use bat guano. I just don't know where I'd get any.

Thanks for the info and tips! I'm going to make the back stick down lower, a bit like Brendan suggested. I am also going to run water in it to soak into the mud into the wood and put the black shingles on the back before I hang it up too. Maybe I'll let one of the shingles hang down lower than the back for them to land on.

Do you guys think it will dry out before spring, hanging up there, or should I not soak it to age it?

I'm hoping to get it up there before the end of Feb, even if I have to climb up there and hang it myself.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:16AM
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Don't know what it's like by you, but here, you just have to google up a tree hugger group and they'll help you get set up.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:11PM
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Hey Dave, That's a good idea! I might do that. Actually, I'll probably just climb up there myself one morning and attach it. It's not really worth bothering anyone else for. A quick 10 min job. Hubby already said he'd do it for me, but I usually just go ahead and do everything myself anyway.

Is there someone I can talk into digging a large pond for me?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:25PM
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Bats love heat during the day. Direct sunlight from the South should shine on the front of the bat house. It is best to waite until there some bats living in the new one before blocking the old nesting place. If they don't like the new location they will leave and possibly to not return. Like it was suggested play with the height and locate it at the sunniest spot that won't be shaded anytime during the day.

At the farm I have bats living in many of the old out-buildings. There is an old 2-1/2 story ceramic block storage building that has two large 45' tall red brick chimneys that are full of chimney swifts. It is interesting to watch them fly full speed straight down into the chimneys.

A good combination-bats at night-swifts during the day-24 hour bug catching team.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:09PM
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The bats have been living in the wall of my house. You know... in MY house, where I am living :-)

I love bats, just not in MY house. Must be blocked, regardless. I would just hate to lose them.

I'd love to see the bats and swifts! Too bad it's so hard to get pics of bats in enough light to see.

It is going to be facing directly south in full sun. A perfect spot. Well, I think it's a perfect spot. It remains to be seen if the bats think so.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:31PM
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I went to a seminar a few months ago and one of the speakers was a lady from Animal control. Someone asked her if they get rid of bats and she said not normally. So someone asked her in what instance do they do it and she gave an example. One person called them stating that a bat somehow got in the house and the previous night saw it flying. She said in this instance they would get the bats out because they must test it to see if it is a rabies carrier. She said the problem with bats is they can bite you and you would never know it because their teeth are so small you wouldn't feel it. I say this not to skeeze you out but to tell you that your animal control might help you to get the bats moved. Never hurts to ask.

Seramas you must have an interesting place!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I just looked at your bat house again and also looked up instructions on how to build a bat house and as I see it you did everything right. If that comment above about you not having anything for them to perch on you can add a piece on the bottom about 5" but I looked it up and saw a house full of bats with no outside perch.

I think you are being a little impatient too. I know how that is especially with the option of them returning to your house vs the new bat condo. You will not get any bats until the spring anyway so don't panic missy.

Also just to note, when I suggested animal control it was for them to assess the bat house and location but on second thought they might not be any help.

Here is a link that might be useful: bat house

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:34AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

What I have heard recommended was less of a perch and more of a landing pad.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:15AM
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I'd prefer not to call animal control under any circumstances.

I konw where the bats got in and I will fix that opening so they can no longer do so.

I'm just going to extend the back down a little longer with a piece of the shingles I put on the back. I'm not going to impede their "swooping" into the nest. The shingles are rough enough for the bats to cling to and then climb in. They can fly in from the back anyway, as the post will be there.

I have decided not to rinse it out with muddy water. I want it good and dry in the spring. Maybe they'll live there, maybe not. Maybe some other bats will live there next year. I'll just wait and see. I might build another one for the top of a post that is high enough on the garage corner. I have lots of places high enough and away from trees to put one. Maybe I'll make a few more.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 6:26AM
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Please, before blocking the entrance up have someone with a snake camera check to see if you have a verity of bats that stay in your walls during the winter. Not all bats migrate to caves or south for the winter.

Sometimes you can get help from different colleges/groups that have interest in these things. Try calling your local 4-H leaders, they may be able to put you in contact with someone.

I don't like contacting animal control either. Some of them here in SW Michigan are steeped in selling the dogs/cats to research companies. A fate worse than death.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:32AM
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Good idea Seramas.

Hey I apologize for the Animal control idea. I did retract it later. It sounded good in theory but then when I thought about it I realized I would not call them out here for anything so why did I suggest it?

Selling animals to research companies? wow. I know I tried to get a dog and they gave me a 4 page questioneer asking questions like where do you work, what hours, who is home when you are working, etc. Sounded like a robbery set up to me. I told them that was too many questions just to save a freaking dog and they say they are protecting them from going to bad homes. I opted not to get a dog from them, but that is a whole nother thread and don't want to get caught up in it on Runningtrails thread about her BATHOUSE. In other words Trolling BOB need not respond to that (start a new thread if you feel so compelled)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:39PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I doubt that their (potential) practices involving dogs and cats will affect what they do with bats, I'll bet that they will actually run a camera for you and take a peek before you yourself board up the hole. Most of the animal control people I know really like animals (My father vends to animal control and law enforcement). What matters most is what impact you have on the animals, the things that the animal control officers might be doing (it could even be illegal where you live) when they are dealing with an issue that is independant of your interaction with them.

It would also be nice if you could limit the personal attacks at the very least to threads where I say something controversial.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:53PM
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There are really bats that stay here all year long? I didn't know that. I guess I'll have to check it out first. (Darn!)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 6:44AM
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There are species of bats that do winter over in hollow trees. If they will do it in trees why not buildings, namely walls next to heated area?!?

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter & Bats

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:32AM
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We used to have 3 or 4 bats flying around at night, I don't know where they nested though. We havn't seen them in quite a few years. As kids we used to throw pebbles in the air and watch them swoop towards them, then away when they realized it wasn't something to eat. Neat to see them, but I wouldn't want them in the house!

There's been several articles about bats dying in these parts. Thought some of you might be interested in reading about it. I guess the cause has been spreading towards farther states. Here is just one article:


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 6:34PM
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Nice bat house Runningtrails! If you do add a landing pad, use wood not a shingle, it will get sticky in the heat and they won't like it. You don't have to have one though, they'll be able to get in fine the way it is.

I am glad that someone brought up the possibility of your bats still being in your house and hibernating through the winter. You don't have to have anyone look to see though. All you have to do is leave the bottom of the mesh open when you block up the hole - enough for your pinky finger to fit but still snug. The bats will be able to get out via the bottom, but they won't be able to get back in. Hopefully they will then check out your nice replacement home :) If not, you might still get some males once the females kick them out of the colony when they give birth. Once you have a couple of males a new colony will build from there. Speaking of which, be sure to do it before pupping season, which is probably June at the earliest for your area.

Thanks for thinking of the little skeeter eaters - if you don't have any luck this year and need some guano, I'd be happy to send you some (parasite free, I treat all long term patients ;)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 9:20PM
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When they hibernate for the winter they will stay in all the time I assume but will they move around at all? Will they wake up on warm days? Although with all that snow you keep posting I don't suppose you have many (if any) warm days in the winter.

I hope you get your bats to move.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 11:36PM
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In the south they will move around on warm days - but they're not really hibernating there. In the north, they truly hibernate and if they are disturbed the energy they use while awake can mean the difference between making it to spring and starving to death first. It can be a serious problem in caves and mines. BCI has been putting bars over the entrance to some caves in the winter to help and have spread the word to spelunking clubs and the like.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:58PM
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    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:23AM
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Thanks for the info Chiroptera_mama! I'll get some mesh to cover the hole and do just that. What kind of mesh?

I'm going to try to take care of that problem this week.

Interesting article, Seramas!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 4:50PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I found a blog with a video of Bats landing on open surfaces, no bats flying through narrow cracks though, also bats flying through the air and crawling on the ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to be a bat

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:31PM
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Hey I found the photo tonight of the attic of the house I was going to buy that had the bats in it. there were more than these,

and I never did figure out what the heck that green stuff is!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:24PM
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I didn't know they would nest right out in the open like that! That is so cool! - well, maybe not, if you are wanting to buy the house. I guess you will need to get them out of there. Too bad. I would like to be able to live in harmony with nature, but I guess sometimes it's not a good idea. (especially when "nature" eats my chickens. Not talking about bats here...)

Great picture!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:40AM
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that photo was taken in the near dark with my Sony camera. It has a light register on it and you can take a picture in pitch black and it will look like that. I did have a close up but I have not been able to find it. There were about 30 bats in total up there. the floor in the attick must have had 6" of poop and in places it stained the ceiling.

I really wanted that house too. It had a nice piece of land (2.5 acres), a guest house (mobile home in great condition), above ground pool with 2 decks and a wired garage/workshop with tools still in it.

It was a foreclosure and I won the bid on it (I might regret it a little now.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:12PM
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