Bats and Insects
Birds, especially swallows, play a major role in controlling
day-flying insects. At night bats take over and provide important checks against
night-flying insects, such as mosquitoes and moths (larvae of some moths such
as cutworm and spruce bud worm are quite destructive). The amount that a bat eats
varies depending on the season and reproductive condition. Nursing mothers are
especially heavy feeders. An individual bat will consume hundreds of moths or
thousands of mosquitoes during a night. Think of it - 10 little brown bats from
your bat house could catch more than 10,000 insects in an evenings feeding!
Bats and Birds
Bats and birds do not compete, either for food or space. So put
up a few bird houses to encourage birds to nest in your yard.
Location of Your Bat House
Bat houses should, if possible, be located near a permanent source
of water such as a stream, lake, or marsh. They should be hung about 12 to 15 feet
above the ground, sheltered from the wind, and where the approach is unobstructed by
vegetation or utility wires. Bats need a clear fly-in to their home. The side of
a building works well, probably because of the increased temperature stability, but
a tree or a pole will also serve the purpose.
Temperature is very important. Nursery colonies of females and
young prefer stable temperatures from 80 to 100 degrees fahrenheit. Bachelor colonies
frequently select cooler roosts. In this area, it is well to orient the house to
receive the maximum sun early in the day, i.e. south east.