While many people consider bats pesky, dangerous and even frightening, the truth is that they do a great service for people seeking to protect gardens and crops. Flying insects that are active at night – moths, mosquitoes, beetles, etc. – can wreak havoc on crops, gorging on them after the sun goes down. Bats are these insects' primary predator, and one bat eats hundreds of these flying nuisances per hour. Just imagine what an entire colony of bats could do to protect your crops and gardens!
Enter the concept of the bat house, an effective weapon in insect protection.
You won't be able to attract bats to roost in your bat house unless you understand how they think and behave. These tips can help guide the design and placement of your bat house so that you can slant the odds in your favor:
Keeping those tips in mind, search the Internet for free bat house plans or visit your local building center to purchase bat house kits. Building a house from scratch using plans is a good idea if you have some carpentry experience; first-timers are better off sticking to the fail-safe, step-by-step instructions found in kits. Bat house kits also contain everything you'll need to get the house up and running.
Bat houses consist of four main parts: the pole sleeve, which attaches to the pole you'll be suspending the house from; the inner shell; the outer shell; and the roof. You'll use all four of these structural parts regardless of the specific design you choose.
After you've constructed the bat house, paint the outer surface a dark color (brown or black). This will help it attract and retain heat from the sun. When you're ready to install the house, use the given guidelines to determine the ideal placement in your yard, attach the pole sleeve to the fence bracket or whatever fixture you've chosen, and then sit back and let Mother Nature take care of the rest.