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A Bat House is a Home

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On the March 25th episode of AE’s “Storage Wars,” one of the bidders uncovered a bat house in the storage unit he purchased.  The bidder, Ivy, took the Songbird Essentials Five Chamber Bat House (right) to an expert at Project Wildlife to learn more about it.  You can watch the clip from the show by following this link (http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars/video/ivy-learns-about-his-bat-hotel).

Like the bidder on the show, many people have fairly limited knowledge about bats, and even the thought of these mammals often conjures more fear than gratitude.  However, the reality is that bats are essential for a healthy ecosystem.  Not only do bats help keep mosquitoes and other flying pests under control, they also play an important role in pollination and seed dispersion for plants around the world.  The Project Wild Life expert even mentioned that bats are one of the main pollinators of the agave plant, which is used to make tequila.

Unfortunately, the world’s bat population is in trouble.  According to Bat Conservation International, an authority on bat conservation, though there are over 1,200 bat species worldwide, bat populations are declining almost everywhere.  One of the major causes of this population decline is habitat destruction.

Fortunately, there is a way to help!  Install a bat house near your home.  Whether you live in a mountain cabin in the Rockies, a farmhouse in the Midwest, a beach house in California, a luxury apartment in New York City, or suburbs across the US, chances are that bats also live pretty close by.  By installing one or more bat houses on your property, you will not only suffer from fewer mosquito bites at your next backyard BBQ (one adult brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito sized insects in an hour), you will also be helping to prevent the population decline of these vital creatures.  The extra large bat house can house approximately 600 adult bats (combined those bats could clear 60,000 mosquito sized insects in an hour!).

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Design, sun exposure, proximity to natural water sources, mounting height/position, and timing are several of the factors to keep in mind when installing a bat house.  For example, bat houses should be mounted at least 12 feet above the ground, though 15 to 20 feet is even better.  Also, your bat house should be painted to account for how hot it gets in your area.  If the average high July temperature in your area is less than 85°F, your bat house should be painted or stained a dark color to absorb heat, while light stains or white paint should be applied if you live in a place with an average high July temperature above 100°F.

You can visit the Bat House section of our store to purchase a bat house, and for more tips on how and where to install your bat house, please follow this link for the Bat Conservation International’s “Criteria for Successful Bat Houses”.