Is there a more intriguing blog article than one about “bats” the day before Halloween?
Outside the mythical, vampirish aspect of bats that surrounds us on Halloween, bats are one of the most effective and environmentally friendly ways to reduce the mosquito population near your home. A great way to attracts bats is to install a bat house.
Bat house sizes range from holding a dozen or so bats like the bat house pictured to the right or to have enough space for a colony of 500 bats.
Bats that use the type of house to the right:
big brown, cave, eastern pipistrelle, evening, little brown, Mexican free-tailed, northern long-eared, pallid, Pallas’ mastiff bats, Rafinesque’s big-eared bats, southeastern bats, and Yuma bats
A bat house may be mounted on a tree, pole, or building; however, bat houses mounted on poles tend to have a slightly higher occupancy than those mounted on trees.
You should mount your bat house 15-20 feet above the ground where it will not be exposed to bright lights. Temperature is also a consideration.
You should place your bat house where it will receive at least six hours of sun if you live in a region where average July temperatures range from 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a region where average July temperature are less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should mount your bat house where it will receive at least 10 hours of sun.
And yes, vampire bats are real. They are bats whose food source is blood, a dietary trait called hematophagy. There are three bat species that feed solely on blood: the Common Vampire Bat, the Hairy-legged Vampire Bat, and the White-winged Vampire Bat.